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KONARAK 


BY 

DEBALA MITRA 



Published by the Director General 
Archaeological Survey of India 
New Delhi 
19£8 



Price : Rs. 2*25 



1968 

ARCHABOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA 


PRI^^TED DY SIIRI AMAR NATH AT THE 
CAXTON PRESS PRIVATE UMtTED, NW DEUIt 



CONTENTS 


PAGE 


1 General information 

1 

2 Introduction 

3 

A Legends and history 

3 

B Conservation 

13 

C Arclutccture 

24 

D Sculptural art 

31 

3 The monuments 

38] 

A Temple 1 (mam temple complex) 

38 

B Temple 2 (May2de\i temple) 

86 

C Temple 3 (Vaishpavi temple) 

96 

D Subsidiary structures 

lOI ^ 

C The enclosure 

106 

Glossary of terms 

108 

Select bibliography 

113 



LIST OF PLATES 


I. Temple 1: porch, strip of sanctuary and lion-on- 

elephant, as illustrated by J. Fergusson 

II. Temple I : porch and wreck of sanctuary before repair 

III, A. Temple 1 : eastern rahd of porch and door-frame, as 

illustrated by A. Stirling 

B. Temple 1: lion-on-elephant, as illustrated by C. 
Madcenzie 

IV, Temple 1, porch and ruined sanctuary: general view 

V. Temple 1 : porch and portion of sanctuary 

VI. Temple 1, portion of berm: decorative details 
Vn. A. Temple 1, berm; touching leave-taking 

B. Temple 1, berm: pious naga 

C. Temple I, berm: dignified couple 
Vm. Temple 1, porch: front side 

IX. A. Temple 1, porch: amour 

B. Temple 1, porch: lascivious sadhu 

X. Temple 1, porch: amorous couple 

XI. Temple 1, porch: eastern door-frame 

XII. Temple 1, porch, nava-gralta architrave: Ravi, Soma 

and Maogala 

XIII. A. Temple 1, porch, nava-gralia architrave: Budha, 

Bflhaspati and ^ukra 

B. Temple 1, porch, nava-graha architrave: iSani, Rahu 
and Ketu 

XIV. A. Temple 1, porch : Bhjurava 

B. Temple L^sanctnary: King Narasiihha practising 
archery 



XV A Temple 1, bottom terrace of porch rfoMwi/jc play 

ing on large (^bals 

B Temple 1, middle terrace of porch rfanrme play- 
ing on small cymbals 

XVI A Temple 1, bottom terrace of porch danseuse blow 

mg a long pipe 

B Temple 1, middle terrace of porch drummer 

XVII A Temple 1, sanctuary southern pars\ade\a1d 
B Temple 2 Sflrya (National Museum) 

XVIII A Temple 1, platform of sanctum sanctorum royal 
visit on the occasion of consecration 
B Temple 1, wpdrtfl a vital moment in the trappmg of 
elephants 

XIX Temple 1 enraged elephant 

XX Temple I war stallion 

XXI Arupa stambha (now in front of the JagannStha tem- 

ple, Pun) 

XXII Temple 1, bboga mandapa general view 

XXIII Temple, 1 , berm of bboga mavdopa opulence of 

decoration and carnival of life 

XXIV Temple 1, ceiling stone of 5/joga meptfapa pageant of 

dance and music in honour of the Great Splendour 



KONARAK 


1. GENERAL INFORMATION 

O RISSA, UNLIKE MANY OTHER PARTS OF INDIA, 
has the prized distinction of possessing an 
uninterrupted series of temples illustrating the 
history of the well-defined Kalinga Order from its 
inception to decline. And the Sun temple of 
Konarak (pi, IV) marks the hipest point of achieve- 
ment of that Order. Even in its present ruined state 
(for, it lost its soaring tower long ago), it stands in 
majestic dignity in the midst of a vast stretch of sand 
and desolate solitude which further emphasize its 
greatness. 

The magnitude of the edifice and the stupendous 
size of its perfectly-proportioned structure are matched 
by the endless wealth of decoration on its body— from 
minute patterns in bas-relief executed with a jeweller’s 
precision to boldly-modelled free-standing sculptures 
of exceptionally large size. Architecture and sculp- 
ture go hand in hand in Indian temples; but both, 
with their full efflorescence at Konarak, cohere in this 
temple completely with a total concept. Under the 
overwhelming shadow of the colossal structure does 
one breathe the enchanting air emanating from the 
sculptures. 

Konarak (lat. 19® 53' N.; 86° 06' E.) is a small 
village in Puri District, within 3 km. of the Bay of 
Bengal. It can be reached from either Bhubaneswar 
or Puri, both important stations of the South-eastern 
Railway. From Pipli on the north-to-south hi^way 


1 



KONARAK 


between Bhubaneswar and Puri (21 km. from the 
former and 40 Ion. from the latter), a 45-km. long 
road leads one, past Nimapara and Gop, to Konarak 
in the south-east. The road-distance is thus 66 km. 
from Bhubaneswar and 85 km. from Puri. The rivers, 
that this road crosses, have been recently bridged, 
and the place is now accessible throughout the year. 

While it is usual to return to Bhubaneswar or 
Puri, as the case may be, after a one-day programme at 
Konarak, the visitor intending to stay at Konarak 
overnight may do so at the local Inspection Bungalow, 
which can be reserved through the Executive Engineer, 
Public Works Department, Bhubaneswar Division, 
Bhubaneswar. The Government of India Tourist 
Bungalow provides additional accommodation to the 
tourists. 

Guide-books and picture-postcards are' available 
both at the site and m the office of the Conservation 
Assistant, Archaeological Survey of India, Bhubanes- 
war. Photographs of monuments and sculptures can 
be had on payment from the office of the Superintend- 
ing Archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India, 32 
Chittaranjan Avenue, Calcutta 12. 


2 



2. INTRODUCTION 


A. Legends and history 

T he name KoNARAK is the rOPULAR FORM OF 
Koparka. Like Bhubaneswar, the name is 
evidently derived from the name of the presiding 
deity Konarka, which means the Arka (‘Sun’) of 
kona (‘corner’), the latter presumably being in relation 
to TTrikopa (^. 6 ), in the comer direction of which the 
temple was erected. The main temple (Temple 1) 
was called by early European mariners as the Black 
Pagoda,' in contradistinction to the White Pagoda 
(the whitewashed temple of Jagannatha) of Puri, both 
important landmarks in their coastal voyage. 

Legends, as embodied in the Kapila-SamhUS, the 
MadalS-pmji (chronicle of the Jagannatha temple 
at Puri) and the PrSchl-mahatmya, take the sanctity 
of Konarak back to mythical times. The legends 
of these late texts are an obvious adaptation of a much 
earlier tradition as recorded in the Bhamhya-PurSpa 
and Samba-Piirdrta. According to these PiirSpas, 
Samba, son of Krishria and his wife Jambavati, was 
very proud of his handsome person and once ridiculed 
the divine sage NSrada, who, mischief-maker that he 
even ordinarily was, took recourse to an unsaintly 
scheme to avenge himself. By a cunning device he 
led Samba to the bathing-place of his step-mothers, 
who were struck with his personal eharm. Slipping 
quietly the sage led Krishna to this spot. Incensed at 
his son’s apparent lack of propriety, Krishpa cursed 
him to be smitten with leprosy which would affect 


( The Diaries (I67SA680) oj Sir Sireyasham Master (ed. by 
Sir Richard Carnac Temple and published in 1911 under Indian 
Record Series), I, p. 56, and 11, p. 93. 

S 



KONARAK 


his beauty. Samba proved his innocence, but the 
curse once pronounced could not be withdrawn. He 
was, however, directed to repair to Mitravana near the 
ChandrabhSga, where he was to propitiate Surya, the 
healer of all skin diseases. Samba acted upon the 
advice. After twelve years of severe penance he 
succeeded in pleasing the god and was cured of his 
illness. In gratitude, he decided then and there to 
erect a temple in honour of the god. While bathing 
in the Chandrabhaga the following day he discovered 
an image of the god, which had been fashioned out of 
Surya’s body by Visvakarma- Samba installed this 
image in a temple built by him in Mitravana.^ 

According to the Bhavishya-Purana, the original 
locale of the episode was near the Chandrabhaga (the 
Chenab in Punjab), the well-known tributary of the 
Indus. This spot came to be known after SSmba as 
Sambapura or Mula-Sambapura (i.e. ‘the original 
Sambapura’), modem Multan, the Sun temple of 
which finds a glowing description in the account of 
Hiuen Tsang. The shifting of the legend to Konarak 
was done obviously at a period when the locality 
became a centre of Surya-worship, the motive behind it 
being, no doubt, to augment the sanctity and fame of 
the new centre by making it (he site of Samba^s original 
temple. A shallow pool of water, immediately by the 
side of the sea and within 3 km. of the temple, is known 
as the Chandrabhaga, where even now crowds of 
pilgrims take a purificatory bath before sunrise on the 
seventh day (saptami) of the bright half of the month of 


* According to the Bhavish^a-Purana, SSmba had to import 
sotoi Mas®* (ttvi c>f Iiaa) ftom 

Sakadvipa, as the local Brahmanas did not agree to worship the 
image. Certain alien features (e g. boots) in the SOrya-imagcs 
of northern India are due to the influence of these foreign 
immigrants. 


4 



INTRODUCTION 


Magha (January-February) » It is likely that the pool is 
the choked-up mouth of a dried stream, as the appear- 
ance of a silted-up channel is marked even now by a long 
shallow depression in the ground running by the side 
of the temple and ending m the pool itself It is not 
known if the name Chandrabhaga was original or a 
borrowed one 

According to an unpublished manuscript of the 
MadaJd-panji,* a temple of Konarka-deva was built 
in the Arka-kshetra by Purandara-kesan of the Kesari 
dynasty, who also founded eight jldsanas (villages 
granted by the king to the BrShmanas) for the worship 
of the god The rulers of the Ganga dynasty, who 
ousted the Kesaris, also paid homage to the deity, and 
one of these rulers, Anancabhima, even increased the 
amount for the service of the deity from 42500 cowries 
to 52500 * This king promised to enlarge the temple 
of Purushottamadeva at Pun but could not accomplish 
It To relieve him of the sm of failing in his promise, 
his son and successor, Narasimhadeva, erected, through 

' These people, after bathing, would wait on Ihe beach till they 
can see the red ball of the nsing sun spring out of the blue sea 
Then they proceed to the temple where tliey worship the nava gralias 
(nine phnets) A fair also takes place on this occasion Once m 
the year the deserted holy place of SOrya thus throbs with religious 
emotion This is probably a survival of an ancient practice follow- 
ing the construction of the temple ^^agha saptann is mentioned 
in the Madalapanji as one of the festivals of this holy centre 
It IS also referred to in the Brahma’Piirana in connexion with the 
description of Konarka 

*Bishan Swarup, Aonurka (1910), pp 5 ff 

* The Items of expenditure met out of this amount are also 
detailed They include, besides ofTenngsanddaily service to the deity, 
amounts spent on the worship of the N-arious deities of the holy 
centre, including Mayadevi, Ash^a Sambhus, Ashta Chapdis, 
Arupa, four diSra paJas (door keepers) and divinities of Ihc earth, 
water and sky, for Chandrabhaga /W/ ki, festivals like MSgha’ 
saptami and d\dda£3yStrSs (car festivals) and the jcvaior 
fessiona! worshippers) 


5 



KONARAK 


his paira (officer) §rva SamantarSya Mahapatra, a 
temple m front of the one built by Purandara-kesan 
and installed m it the image of the earlier temple 
He also endowed it with rich offerings and lands 
Many of his descendants also honoured the deity 
After the death of Mukundaraja (A D 1559-68), the 
yaianas (Muslims) made a destructive attempt on the 
temple, but failing in the mission carried off the copper 
kalaia and the crowning padmn-dhxaja 

The reliability of the Madala-panji is generally 
questioned But the nucleus of truth behind the above 
statement is substantially supported by other sources 
The copper-plates of the successors of the Ganga King 
Narasimhadeva(circaA D 1238-64), son of Anangabhima 
III, rarely fail to mention the supreme achievement 
of Narasimha as the builder of a mahat-huflra (‘great 
cottage’) ofUshnaraSmi (SDrya)inthecomerofTrikonll' 
(JnkonS - Kone kutIraKam=achtkarad=Us!maraSmeh) 
That this temple (Temple 1) was built in front of an 
earlier temple of Surya (Temple 2) is also borne out by 
circumstantial evidence (below, p 86) The statement 
that the image of the earlier temple was re-mstalled 
in the later temple also fits in well with the small 
pedestal inside the later temple The missing image, 
to judge by the pedestal, was a small one, which is 
rather unbecoming in the colossal temple The histori- 
city of Purandara-kcsarl is yet to be established unless 
he IS to bo identified, which is not unlikely, with the 
Somavamii Puranjaya (end of the eleventh century), 
grandson of Udyotakcsarl and brother of Kama 


* TrikopS mzy be idratjfied Tj^oniJ (Jal ' N , 
long 86*01' E) on the bank of the Kushbhadra, nearly 9 km 
southwest of the Konarak temple The existence of the ancient 
habitation of Tikona dunng the Ga&ga rule is attested to by several 
Gafiga/tjrtamj which were found in course of digging opcntions 
and shotvn to the author at the tune of her visit to the Milage 


6 



INTRODUCTION 


There is no evidence to explain the selection of 
the site for building the temple. We have to assume 
that either the place enjoyed religious sanctity from 
before or, being on the sea-coast, it (rather Trikona) 
had commercial importance. 

The purpose of erecting this stupendous temple is 
unknown. Surya is believed to be the healer of dis- 
eases and the bestower of wishes from very early times; 
and it is not unlikely that the temple is a worthy 
thanksgiving of the powerful ruler following either his 
recovery or the fulfilment of his prayer perhaps for a 
health)? son. That he had some genuine regard for 
this deity is shown by the name of his son Bhanudeva, 
the first solar name in that royal line. We should 
also remember in this connexion that the builder of this 
temple, Narasirnha, was traditionally known as 
lahguM (‘one having a tail’), the exact simificance of 
which is not .known. The explanation that he had a 
protuberance'of the spinal cord seems to suggest that 
he had a physical deformity of some kind or other, 
of which he wanted to get cured by building a temple 
of Surya. Some scholars, however, surmise that the 
monument was erected as a memorial by the ambitious 
monarch after his successful campaign against the 
Muslims, 

That the fame of this temple as a wonderful 
monument had spread far beyond the limits of Orissa 
in the sixteenth century is amply borne out not only 
by the great Vaishnava saint Chaitanya’s (a.d. 1486- 
1533) visit to the place but also by the following pithy 
description which appeared in the jl'ln-i-Akbari 
rfi hfuti'i-’ralii, "tne famous dnroriidier ol fne court di 
Akbar(A.D, "1556-1605). 

‘Near Jagannatli is a temple dedicated to the Sun. 
Its cost was defrayed by twelve years revenue of the 
province. Even those whose judgment is critical and 


7 



KONARAK 


who are difficult to please stand astonished at its si^t. 
The height of the wall is 150 cubits high and 19 thick. 
It has three portals. The eastern has carved upon it 
the figures of two finely desired elephants, each of 
them carrying a man upon his trunk. The western 
bears sculptures of two horsemen with trappings and 
ornaments and an attendant. The northern has two 
tigers, each of which is rampant upon an elephant that 
it has overpowered. In front is an octagonal column 
of black stone, 50 yards high. When nine flights of 
steps are passed, a spacious court appears with a large 
arch of stone upon which are carved the sun and other 
planets. Around them are a variety of worshippers 
of every class, each after its manner with bowed heads, 
standing, sitting, prostrate, laughing, weeping, lost in 
amaze or in wrapt attention and following these are 
divers musicians and strange animals which never 
existed but in imagination. It is said that somewhat 
over 730 years ago, Raja Narsing Deo completed 
this stupendous fabric and left this mighty memorial 
to posterity. Twenty-eight temples stand in its vicinity; 
six before the entrance and twenty-two without the 
enclosure, each of which has its separate legend.*^ 

This description of the monument is substantially 
true except the directions of portals in front of 
which stood the pairs of elephants, horses and lions- 
on-elephants. AbuT-Fadl is silent about the actual 
state of preservation, and it seems that time had not yet 
extended its destructive grip on the sanctuary. 

According to the manuscript* of the Madald- 
panii mentioned above (p. 5,),. which gives in detail 
the" history of the temple, Maharaja Narasiihhadeva 

* H. S. Jarrclt jnd Jadu-nath Sarkar, 'Ain-UAkberi, II 
(Calcutta, 1949), pp. 140 and 141. 

* Jour, AsiaUc Soc. Bengalt NcwScrfes.IV (1908), pp. 322f.; 
Bisban Swamp, op. cit., pp. 5-8. 



INTRODUCTION 


(the third king of the Bhoi dynasty of Khurda), 
son of Maharaja Purushottamadeva, went from Puri 
to see the temple in his ninth aiika (a.d. 1628), when 
Bakhar Qian was ruling the suba of Orissa on behalf 
of Shah Salim' (Jahangir), the emperor of Delhi. 
Before this date, due to flie violence of this yavana 
ruler the enshrined image of the Sun, called Maitra- 
ditya-Virinchideva, had been removed to Niladri- 
mahotsava temple within the enclosure of the Puru- 
shottama temple (Jagarmatha temple) of Puri. The 
Maharaja got the empty temple measured by Natha 
Mahapatra, the officer in charge of the supervision of 
the buildings of the Purushottama temple. The 
measurements were taken with a stick (kathi) in length 
equal to 28 aiigulas (width of fingers) of the hand of 
the Maharfija. The measurements of the main deul 
(sanctuary) along with the sinthasam inside it, mukha- 
sSla (porch) and Arupa-rromWia are also detailed in 
the manuscript. 

Though no evidence is forthcoming in support of 
this text, the record does not look entirely unfounded. 
In the details of the measurements it is mentioned 
that the once-existing kalaSa and the lotus-finial, the 
padma-dhvaja, were broken, though the iron rod, 
called cbumbaka-lidta-dfiSrana (‘magnetic iron rod’), 
which passed through the kalasa, was still in position. 
This kalasa, which was of copper,' and the lotus-finial 
are said to have been carried away by the yavanas 
when they attacked this temple after the reign of 


' This IS evidenliy a mistake for Shah Jahan, as Salim (Jahangir) 
died in November, 1627. 

’ The popular legend is that a magnetic kalasa on the top 
of the tower used to draw ashore the vessels passing along the 
coast of Konarak, whereupon the crew of a ship scaled the top 
and removed this kalaia. Following this violation of sanctity, 
the priests removed the image of the deity to Puri, 


9 



KONARAK 


Mukundaraja. In the eighteenth century the chlorite 
pillar (p. 80), called Arva^SL-stambha (pi. XXI), was 
removed to Puri by the Marathas who planted it in 
its present site in front of the temple of Jagannatha. 

Various speculations have been made as to the 
possible cause of the collapse of the tower of the sanc- 
tuary of Temple 1. Some ascribe it to the subsidence 
of the foundation and others to a shock of earthquake 
or lightning, some again doubting if the temple was 
ever completed. The theory of non-completion is 
untenable in view of the platform and the spouted 
pedestal of the enshrined image in the sanctum bear- 
ing indubitable signs of their having been in religious 
use for a considerable time (p. 75), even if we dis- 
believe the above accounUof Narasirfahadeva. At 
no part of tlie plinth is there any sign of sinking or 
unequal settlement because of weak foundation. 
The extant walls and other structures within the 
enclosure, again, do not evince the effect of any seismic 
commotion. Lightning can also hardly affect such 
a massive edifice, though the small members like the 
crowning elements may be easily liable to damage. 
It appears that the structure crumbled down gradually, 
the beginning of the decay initiated by the des- 
ecration of the temple. As already noted, the 
enshrined image was removed to Puri due to the 
Muslims who probably violated the sanctity of the 
temple either by their entry into it — it is obvious 
from the account of AbuT-Fadl that the temple 
succeeded in arousing the curiosity of even the 
Muslims — or by the removal of the d^vq/uandthe 
'kaialsa made of copper."^ Thus, forsaken by the pre- 
siding deity, the deserted temple fell naturally 

^ It is not known if it was gilded and destroyed under the 
impression of its being of gold or if the motive was simply to 
desecrate the temple. 


10 



INTRODUCTtOV 


into utter neglect Consepently, re^. 

neeessary to attend to the °<=“s>on^ 
pairs and to remove the ‘r<==s ^^ich mi^t have 
roots init and thus unloosened he fabnc 

pS'nccelerSedVthe fall of the ^ 

was made Made of several slabs F? , pieces 

iron dowels and cramps, the ^ , ?£, the washing 
when the iron members °n exposur ( ..ones into 
away of the plaster) corroded f ■' ^^stones^m^_ 

fragments (action being niore disas , temple 
welthered rock like khondalite '™fifp„,rand 

was built) With the 
the belt below it, was lost the heavy t g 
balance the tendency of the corbell p jpasonry 
with the result that the stones of the ry 
started gradually droPP'ng , ^as gradual 

As already suggested, ‘he 
m 1848 a corner of the tower exist 

height Thus, A Stirhng who went to jne 

shortly before 1825, wrote rtqnrl twenty feet m 

remains standing, about one hundred and twenty 
height, which viewed from a di^an g y Pg 

rum a singular appearance, somethmg^^^emo^^j 

that of a ship under sail Ferguss , P 

the temple m 1837 and prepared a drawing ^^t^ 

estimated the height of the frag^nt, 77 ™ V’though 
sanctuary as 140(42 672m )to ISO ft ^rn {’m °ugn 
Kittoe, Uo came here only after a year, writes ina 

‘ Asniick Researches, XV P Hmdoslan 
• Piamcsque Illustrations of Ancient Arclllleciure 
(London 1848) p 27 


u 



KONARAK 


‘one corner is still standing to the height of 80 
(24 384 m ) or 100 feet (30 48 m ) and has (at a distance) 
the appearance of a crooked column’ ^ This strip, 
too, of the tower, was thrown down by a strong 
gale in October 1848,® so that at the time of Rajen- 
dralala’s visit in 1868 the sanctuary was reduced 
to ‘an enormous mass of stones (pi II) studded 
With a few pipal trees here and there’ ® 

The lower ceiling of the porch of Temple 1, sup- 
ported by iron beams, and the pillars, which sustained 
the beams had caved in even before the visit of Stirling 
The platform along with other structures including 
the bhoga mandapa (below, p 81) must have been 
engulfed by the dnfting sand also before Stirling, who 
would not have failed to mention the exquisite wheels 
and horses had they been visible during his time 
But at least a large portion of the eastern stair was 
free of sand even m 1815 when the artist of Cohn 
Mackenzie prepared a drawing of the northern fhce 
of the eastern stair and the adjoining terrace, which 
shows two wheels and a pair of horses *• 

Though the destructive forces of nature have not 
been equally operative on the porch (pi II), the latter 
has greatly suffered at the greedy hands of man The 
leading part m despoilmg it of its facing stones was 
taken by a Raja of Khurda^ who was particularly 
after the chlorite slabs, though the local people were 
also not inactive in removing the fallen stones and 
taking out iron cramps and dowels, which held the 

^ Joitr Asiatic Soc. Bengal, VII, part II (1838), p 681 

* Bishan Swarup, op cil , p 98 

* Antiquities oj Orissa, 11 (Calcutta, 1880) p 150 

*JouT Asiatic Soc Bengal, New Series, IV(I908) pp 306 and 
324 

® A large erotic sculpture evidently forming part of the spoil 
was presented in 1924 by a member of this family, Raja R3ma 
Chandra Dev pfPurj, to the Indian Museum, Calcutta 


12 



INTRODUCTION 


facing stones together, for the sake of metal ‘Latterly 
some of the finest sculptures from the doorways of the 
building Itself’, notes Fergusson, ‘have been removed 
by the Kurdah Raja to decorate a temple he is build- 
ing in his own fort, and the temple itself had a narrow 
escape from being employed to build a lighthouse on 
False Pomt Even more vivid is the description 
of this callous and ruthless operation from the pen 
of Kittoe, another eye-witness ‘The Kurda raja has 
demolished all three entrances and is reraovmg the 
stones to Pooree^ the masons pick out the figures and 
throw them down to take their chance of being broken 
to pieces, (which most of them are,) such they leave 
on the spot, those that escape uninjured are taken 
away The elegant doorway called the Nawagriha, 
a drawing (pi III A) of whichis to be found in the 15th 
Vol of the Asiatick Researches, has been completely 
destroyed Thus, the eastern architrave contammg 
the grj/iaj (below p 57, pis XJI and XIII), which 
Stirling and possibly Fergusson saw m position, was 
brought down before 1838 Fortunately before the 
Rdja could remove it to Pun, the Government directed 
him in that very year not to remove any more stones 
from the site® 


B Conservation 

The measures, which have been adopted for the 
conservation of the temple (pi II), are so extensive 
Vme \recDme a part of history of the 
monument itself 


^Picturesque lUustratians of Ancient Architecture in Hindostan 
(London, 1848) p 28 

*Jour Asiatic Soc Bengal VII, part II (1838), pp 681 f 
^ Orissa Historical Research Jour , YIl, no 1 (1958), p 59, n. 


KONARAK 


Curiously enough, the first suggestion for the cc 
servation of the temple came not from the antiquan 
but from the Marine Board which requested, m 18( 
the Vice-President m Council, Fort William, not oi 
to take measures against the removal of stones 1: 
also to furnish an estimate of cost for the preservati 
of the edifice The move for repairs arose out 
a purely utilitarian motive, as the temple, called t 
Black Pagoda by European manners, served as an ( 
sential landmark on the shallow coast of Orissa B 
the Governor General did not agree to the propo< 
of conservation in view of the heavy expenditi 
involved, though he directed the Magistrate of Cutta 
to prevent removal of stones 

Had the Government listened to the advice of t 
Marine Board, a portion of the tower could perha 
have been saved for posterity, for the sanctuary h 
stood nearly 3 m higher than the porch till the stro 
gale of 1848 reduced it to a massive heap of stor 
(p 12) The second move, again futile, for repairscro 
ped up when the Government was aroused to a sen 
of Its responsibility towards this famous ‘Govemme 
property’ by the Asiatic Society of Bengal after t 
depradations of the Raja of Ourda 13) T 
Deputy Governor of Bengal, however, declined 
interfere with the temple, except m the case of spoh 
tion and injury by individuals 

As the Government did not take steps for reston: 
the dismantled stones to their position, it was propose 
m 1859, by the Asiatic Society ofBengal to remo 
the dislodged fmva-graha architrave to the Indi; 
Museum in Calcutta The initial attempt for t 
transport of the piece in 1867, however, failed, as t 
grant of Rs 3000 was barely sufficient for laying 
tram-road. The money was exhausted after t' 
architrave had been earned to a short distance, ji 



INTRODUCTION 


outside the south-eastern comer of the enclosure; 
the sea by which the stone was to be despatched would 
have been about 3 km. away still. 

Following his visit to Konarak, Sir Ashley Eden, 
Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, suggested some 
repairs at a small outlay. Accordingly, in 1881, the 
Bengal Government instmcted the Public . Works 
Department to take measures to arrest further decay 
of the temple and to place the stone animals on rough 
pedestals. Besides jungle-clearance, the only work 
done in 1882-83 was that the colossal pairs of elephants 
(pi. XIX), horses (pi.* XX) and lions-on-elephants 
(pp. 78-80), which had originally stood in front of 
the three staircases of the porch and were at that 
time lying fallen amidst debris, were mounted 
on masonry platforms in front of, but some metres 
away from, the respective staircases. Unfortunately, 
they were set in wrong positions with their faces 
towards 'the temple instead of away from it. To make 
(he matter still worse, the two lions-on-elephants 
had been erected on the top of a mound, which on 
clearance of sand later, revealed a large pillared 
hall, bhoga’inandapa. Thus, the hope raised by 
Sir Ashley Eden's interest in the monument remained 
unfulfilled. Even the little work done was not carried 
out properly. 

In 1892, the question of repairs cropped up once 
more when the Lieutenant-Governor Sir Charles A. 
Elliot, following his visit to the temple, felt the neces- 
sity of its inspection by a competent engineer to sug- 
gest suitable measures for its conservation. He was 
also inclined to grant a moderate sum for the upkeep 
of the buildings by jungle-clearance and for buttress- 
ing the hanging parts and also for collection and trans- 
portation of the fallen sculptures including the m\a- 
graha architrave to the Indian Museum. Accordingly, 


15 



KONARAIC 


a second attempt was made to bring the naxa-graha 
architrave to Calcutta To make it lifter for carriage, 
the stone was sliced longitudinally into two halves 
Leaving the uncarvcd back portion at the spot, the 
carved front slice was loaded on a specially-made 
truck and earned some metres further towards Telikood 
Creek, where, it was intended, along with thirteen 
small sculptured stones fallen from the temple, to be 
loaded on a barge for Calcutta In 1893, the Bengal 
Government, considering the objection of the local 
people on religious grounds, ordered the Public Works 
Department not to touch it m future, so that the 
slab had been left there till the second decade of the 
present century when it was shifted to the sculpture- 
shed The thirteen sculptured pieces, however, were 
brought to Calcutta m 1894 and are now in the Indian 
Museum The Superintending Engineer inspected 
the temple, and estimates were prepared for partly 
filling up with dry stonework the interior of the porch 
and propping up its roof, then standing dange- 
rously, and also for the clearance of stones from in- 
side so as to give a firm base for the dry stonework 
No structural repairs, however, were earned out, 
as the Government accepted the views of the Super- 
intending Engineer who was against interfering with 
the porch and suggested that the jungle should be clea- 
red up annually Accordingly, the temple was brought 
on the books of the Public Works Department, the 
Superintending Engineer was mstructed to carry out the 
necessary annual maintenance and the District Magis- 
trate was asked to arrange for an occasional patrol 
of police to see that no injury was done to the temple 
The proposal of the Lieutenant-Governor for the 
clearance of the mound of debris behind the porch 
was also not implemented, as the Superintending 
Engineer thought it inadvisable to interfere with 


16 



INTRODUCTION 


the mound of debris which was buttressing the back 
wall of the porch. 

Thus, nearly a full century was wasted by vacilla- 
tion as regards the propriety of saving the temple 
at an unreasonable cost and by downright neglect which 
threatened the very existence of the temple, though 
the Government was aroused to a sense of its respon- 
sibility towards it from time to time and occasionally 
a Lieutenant-Governor, in an access of enlightenment 
and moved by the compelling grandeur of the monu- 
ment, was inclined to spare a small sum leading to 
few sporadic works amounting to little. 

The visit of Sir John Woodbum, the Lieutenant- 
Governor, to Konarak, in December 1900, put an end 
to this stalemate and augured bright prospects for 
the temple. Fully impressed with the necessity and 
urgency of the structural repairs to the shattering 
fabric of the temple by supplying missing stones and 
restoring the fallen pieces to the original spots, he 
issued an order to the effect. Shortly afterwards, 
in February 1901, T. Bloch, Archaeological Surveyor 
of the Bengal Circle, submitted a note to the Govern- 
ment of Bengal suggesting the unearthing of the 
buried portion of the temple and the compound-wall, 
the clearance of sand from the compound, the 
refixing of the broken mouldings on the walls of the 
porch and the preservation of the portions standing 
in a dangerous position. The Government of Bengal 
accepted the suggestions, and an estimate was pre- 
pared almost immediately for clearing the sand 
around the porch and the compound-wall and exca- 
vating rubbish and stones from the basement of the 
porch. As early as April 1901 was exposed a wheel 
by excavating a trench at the base of the porch. 

The year 1901 was thus a memorable year in the 
life of the temple, as it witnessed for the first time the 


17 



KONARAK 


firm launching of a well-planned campaign to save 
the temple at any cost by adopting suitable measures 
With keen archaeological conscience The problems 
which faced the conservators were enormous* the 
premises around the temple had to be cleared of not 
only a deep accumulation of sand but also stones, 
many of which were of gigantic size, the tottering 
fabric of the porch on the point of collapse had to be 
given a fresh lease of life by structural repairs, and the 
extant portion of the sanctuary had to be exposed 
out of the huge pile of fallen stones and consolidated 
by suitable steps To make matters worse, many 
of the stones were highly disintegrated and crumbling 
into pieces The conservators — the Executive Engineer, 
the Assistant Engineer and the Sub-Divisional Officer 
of the Onssa Circle — advised by the Archaeological 
Surveyor, Director General of Archaeology and Super- 
intendent of Archaeological Survey of the Eastern 
Circle, laudably proved themselves equal to their 
task and within a span of ten years were able to 
rescue whatever of this stupendous fabric had 
survived 

The clearance of sand and stones on three sides of 
the porch gradually brought to light the superb berm 
along with horses and wheels and several structures 
including the bhoga-mandapa (pi XXII), the interior 
of which could not be cleared immediately due to the 
lions-on-elephants planted erroneously on its top m 
1882-83 (p 15) These operations thus revealed 
for the first time that Konarak comprised not merely 
a single temple but a whole complex of temples as 
noted by Abu’l-Fadl Portions of the enclosure 
along with its east gate, too, were traced to a small 
depth The compound-wall was found greatly rob- 
bed of Its stones, and only at one spot were noticed 
a few battlements m situ 


18 



INTRODUCTION 


Along With the work of clearance was taken up the 
extremely tough and risky job of conserving the badly- 
shattered porch Stripped of facing stones at many 
places, a large part of the exterior was overhanging 
dangerously Stones from the inner side of the ceil- 
ing, which was threatening to give way, were falling 
every now and then and endangering the very life 
of the workers To prevent its collapse, it was decided 
to fill in the interior permanently Thus, after re- 
pairing the damaged portion of the ceiling, a 4|-m 
thick lining of dry masonry was erected along its in- 
terior walls, the space left in the centre up to the top 
being filled in with sand In the beginning, the sand 
filling was effected through the northern door, the 
only door kept open for the purpose Then this door, 
too, was sealed for ever Filling next continued 
through the hole caused in the roof by the fall of the 
sanctuary-tower (p 12) and finally through a hole, 
13 cm m diameter and 7 62 m in length, drilled 
vertically from the top Externally, large scale stone- 
work was done to support the overhanging parts and 
to restore the missing stones All traces of the southern 
door vanished with the construction of a buttressing 
wall of ashlar masonry, as this portion had been badly 
damaged by the spoliation of the Raja of l^urda 
as well as by the fall of the spire of the sanctuary 
The loose stones were re set in their original position 
The essential works for conserving the porch was 
completed in 1905 In 1906 07 the damaged cornice 
over the eastern door was secured by building cor- 
belled abutments below and some patch masonry 
work done on the west face of the porch 

The two lions on elephants, installed on the top 
o^'CaQhhoga-mandapa (p 15), were gently brought down 
and planted not in their original position but in 
front of the eastern staircase of this very structure 


19 



KONARAK 


The removal of sand and debris from inside this 
edifice revealed not only its true character but also 
a fine chlorite image of SQrya leaning against one 
of Its carved pillars This image, which is now m 
the National Museum, New Delhi, tallies in size with 
the two parixa dexatas of Temple 2 (below, p 93) 

The clearance of the mammoth pile of debns to 
the west of the porch was taken up towards the end 
of 1905 This brought to light not only the existing 
portion of the sanctuary with three chlorite images of 
the pdrsxa dexatds and the carved platform (pi XVIII 
A) inside the sanctum sanctorum, but also a large 
number of chlorite sculptures, most of which were 
originally within the nnmdis of the bada The secu- 
rity of the paiSxa dexatas was ensured by building 
ni^es around them As the entrance to the sanctum 
was blocked with the filling of the porch, an access 
to It was provided by a flight of steps from the extant 
top of its west wall 

Along with these works was taken up, m 1906, 
a large scale plantation of thecasuarma and poonang 
trees in the direction of the sea, so as to check the 
advance of the drifting sand and thereby to minimize 
the effect of the abrasive action of the sand-laden winds 

The removal of sand and debris behind the sanc- 
tuary exposed, in 1 909, the extant portion of a beautiful 
temple, Temple 2 (now called Mayadcvi temple), 
completely except a portion of its plinth The two 
images of the pdrsia-dexatas., which were exposed m 
the operations, were encased in rebuilt niches To 
the south-west of Temple 2 were encountered scanty 
traces of a small brick structure 

Thus, by 1910 the initial task of conservation, 
incorporating all the items essential for rendering 
the monument stable, was completed at a cost of 
nearly a lakh of rupees 


20 



INTRODUCTION 


Attention to the monuments continued even after- 
wards, and by 1922 all the major structural repairs 
like the rebuilding of the wall-tops of the sanctuary 
of Temples 1 and 2 and the bhoga-mandapa and mak- 
ing them watertight by laying concrete on the exposed 
tops, repairs to the walls of the sanctum of Temple 1, 
supporting the irf of its porch, the restoration of 
missing stones and pointing the open joints were more 
or less complete More casuarina trees were planted 
Sand and fallen stones continued to be removed 
Lightning-conductors were also fixed, while a sculp- 
ture-shed was constructed m 1915 to house the 
images and other important carved pieces 

Since then small-scale repairs, like the clearance of 
vegetation, re-settmg of loose stones, pointing and 
filling m the crevices were effected annually till 1953 
Temples 1 and 2 also received chemical treatment 
by way of removal of moss and lichen, elimination 
of injurious salts by the application of paper-pulp 
and fungicidal treatment for some years beginning with 
1938-39 Till 1938 the conservation was the responsi- 
bility of the provincial Public Works Department, 
the Archaeological Survey of India working only in 
an inspecting and advising capacity Since 1939, 
the works have been carried out departmentally by the 
Survey 

The monument was inspected in 1949 by the Execu- 
tive Engineer of the Department, who observed cer- 
tain major damages It was felt, even after the sus- 
tained work for half a century, which had, no doubt, 
rendered the temple stable to an appreciable extent, 
that large-scale repairs and chemical treatment were 
still needed In 1950, the Government of India appoin- 
ted a committee of experts on archaeological conser- 
vation, engineering, art, architecture, geology and 
chemistry to go into the whole question of the 


21 



KONARAK 


preservation of the monuments and to find out appro- 
priate measures for prolonging its life The principal re- 
commendations of the Committee were (i) the testing 
of humidity contents inside the sealed porch of Temple 
I, (ii) making of the entire Temple I watertight from 
outside by grouting, filling in of joints, rectification 
of wrong slopes and concreting the tops of the irre- 
gular masonry, (iii) removal of sand from the com- 
pound with necessary provision for drainage of water, 
(iv) rebuilding of the damaged compound-wall to 
the height of the original coping, (v) chemical treat- 
ment of the surface, and (vi) planting of a thick belt 
of casuanna and cashew-nut trees in the direction of 
the sea so as to produce a screening and shielding 
effect for the temple both from sand-drift and con- 
sequent attrition 

The Committee met for the second time in 1953 
and since then the recommendations have been per- 
sistently followed up by the Survev 

The complete clearance of sand from inside the 
enclosure has, apart from bringing the compound to 
its original floor-level, revealed a few features never 
before suspected — a well pertaimng to the kitchen 
block, the south gateway and aVaishnava brick temple 
(Temple 3) The removal of sand necessitated the 
underpinning of the platforms of the horses and 
elephants by ramps of coursed masonry Sand was 
further removed from the ground in front of the 
east gateway, the original mam entrance to the temple- 
complex, and the slopes stabilized by stone pitching 
A strip of nearly 6 m along the outer periphery of the 
compound-wall was cleared of stones and the level 
of the sand reduced to the level of the coping of the 
compound-wah 

The missing portions of the compound-wall were 
restored to the height of the bottom course of the 


22 



INTRODUCTION 


coping, the damaged portions repaired and the open 
joints pointed 

The old lime terracing on the Wall tops of the 
sanctuary was replaced by a fresh 7|-cm thick lime 
concrete mixed with cement and ironite (as a water- 
proofing material), to the proportion of 1 lime, 2 
sand, 4 stone chips, 1/8 cement and 15 lbs (6 8039 
kg) of ironite per eft (028317 cubic metre) of lime 
Some other areas on the broken and uneven part of 
the walls were similarly concreted 

In order to stop the pooling and soakage of rain- 
water m the first and second terraces of the porch, 
all deep and wide joints and depressions were filled 
m with concreted mortar, the proportion of the mortar 
being identical with that* of the terracing All the 
joints were repomted The rectification of wrong 
slopes for the easy flow of rain-water by chiselling the 
stones of these terraces was also effected with the 
result that the formation of puddles of water on these 
terraces is no longer possible 

Both the eastern and southern gateways were 
thoroughly conserved by restoring the missing stones, 
pointing the open joints and replacing the damaged 
plain and moulded courses by new ones made after 
the original Appropriate steps were also taken to 
preserve Temple 3 

Exposed rusty iron clamps and dowels were re- 
placed by copper ones 

Several pockets in the berm of Temple 1 were filled 
in with masonry of khondalite to arrest the stagna- 
tion of water 

The plantation of trees is being vigorously pursued 
by the Forest Department It has already minimized 
considerably the sand drifts and the effect of the salt- 
laden sea-wind 

The m\a graha architrave was removed to a new 


23 



KONARAK 


shed beyond the north-east corner of the enclosure 
The practice of besmearing the slab with vermilion 
and oil has been stopped in the new building 

The removal of the stonework, constructed during 
earlier conservation, from the passage between the 
sanctum and the porch has revealed the exquisitely- 
carved chlorite door frame of the sanctum 

The filling in of all invisible interstices in the core 
of the masonry, mcludingthat of the plinth, has been 
completed This has been done by drilling holes 
into the masonry and forcing into them under 40 lbs 
(18 1437 kg) of air pressure per square inch (6 4516 
sq cm ) liquid mortar m the proportion of 1 cement, 
2 sand and 10 lbs (4 53592 kg) of ironite per eft 
( 028317 cubic metre) of cement 

Extensive chemical cleaning and preservation 
of the facade from top to bottom of the porch has 
been taken m hand 

Located in the courtyard of the temple, the sculp- 
ture shed not only imparted a discordant note but 
was inadequate for the display of sculptures according 
to the requirements of a museum A spacious museum 
building has, therefore, been recently constructed by 
the side of the Government of India Tourist Bungalow 

C Architecture 

As stated already, the temple (Temple I)of Kona- 
rak IS not an isolated monument standing on its own 
peculiarities Gorgeously conceived as a colossal 
chariot (pis IV and V) drawn on twelve pairs of ex- 
quisite wheels by a team of seven nchly-caparisoned 
horses m spirited gallops and symbolizing the 
Sun god himself as if emerging from the depth of the 
blue expanse, the temple, of epic imagination and 
vastness, is the supreme realization, through ceaseless 


24 



INTRODUCTION 


architectural experiments, of the creative upsurge that 
fired the architects of Orissa since the seventh century 
A.D. It marked the peak of cfilorescence of the entire 
Orissan movement and was also the brightest flicker 
of a dying lamp. 

The lavishly-ornamented wheels (pi. VI) arc carved 
against the sides of a high berm, on which the 
sanctuary and its attached front porch are built, and 
also on the two sides of the cast staircase that gives 
access to the top of the berm immediately in front of 
the main entrance of the porch. The rearing horses 
are sculptured against the sides of this staircase, but 
they are in the van. 

The resemblance to a chariot ends with the wheels 
and horses. The rest of the edifice is a typical Orissan 
temple consisting of a deu! (sanctuary) and a Jaga- 
mohana (porch) with all the component parts fully 
evolved, but all built on a titanic scale. 

The sanctuaiy proper is arekha deiil (also called 
ba^a deiil, ‘the big temple’) characterized by a curvili- 
near tower (fig. J), while the frontal porch (mukha- 
sdia), called jagamohana or bhadra deul^ where the 
devotees assemble, is a pidd deul, the roof of which is 
made of pi^ds or horizontal platforms (fig. 2). Built 
on a common berm, both the structures are square 
internally. But the exterior is variegated into a 
pancha-ratha plan by projections known in Orissan 
^ilpa-sdstras as rathas or pagas, which afford 
an effective interplay of light and shade. The central 
projection, which is the most pronounced, is called 
rdhd, while the next two, both on one plane but pro- 
jecting fonvard beyond the extreme ends, called 
kanika or kanika-paga, arc known as anuratha. These 
projections are carried up to the base of the crown- 
ing elements. Besides these major projections, there 
are numerous inconspicuous offsets and recesses. 


25 



INTRODUCTION 



Fig 2 Principal components of a typically Orissan pitld ^eul 
(After the Lmgaraja temple, Bhubaneswar) 


Botli the sanctuary and the porch are divided 
into four broad parts along the vertical plane, namely 
pishta (platform), bSda (vertical wall), gan^i (‘trunk 
of a body’; the curvilmear tower in the case of a 
rekha deul and the pyramidal roof in the case of a 
and (‘head’ , crowning elements). 

While the mastaka is circular in cross-section, the ba^a 
andgandi are square internally in horizontal sections 


27 




KONARAK 


Three of the four divisions again are composed 
of several elements.* All these components are 
in perfect symphony with one another and combine 
harmoniously in a masterly architectural concep- 
tion as a whole. Some of these elements are named 
after human limbs. It has been suggested on the 
basis of these terms that the temple was likened to 
the human body. The rcAr/ia dew? has sometimes been 
conceived by the Orissan architects as a male temple 
and the pida jagamohana as a female. 

Up to the top of the bd^a there is hardly any diffe- 
rence between the sanctuary and the porch except in 
the matter of relative proportions, but with the gandi 
they assume their individuality. Both the bd4os are 
thus composed of five components, namely, pabhaga 
(‘foot’) consisting of a set of five broad mouldings at 
the base, tala jdfigha (‘lower shin’), bSndhanS (‘bond’ ; 
a set of mouldings which divides jafigha into two, 
tala and upar), uparjSfigha (‘upper shin’) and 
again a set of mouldings, numbering ten in the porch. 

The roof of the porch is in the form of a stepped 
pyramid truncated near the top and is made up of 
pidds, arranged into three tiers, caUedpotalas, separated 
from one another by a recessed vertical wall called 
kStjthi or kdnti. Over the roof is the mastaka, which 
is a succession of a beki or beka (‘neck’), Srt (ribbed 
bell-shaped member) or ghaiua, aniJa-bekif amid 
feadrooned or fluted oblate spheroid resembling an dm- 
alaka fmit), khapuri (‘skull’ ;flattish bell-shaped mem- 
ber), (^v/aXtx-poV)zndd}ntdha (sacred weapon or 

emblem), the last two now missing. The crowning 
elements are arranged effectively in such a way that 
they compfete the shape of the truncated pyramid. ^ 


* Each part of a temple, even to the smallest moulding, has 
a prescnbed name in the Onssan jSilpa-sdstras. 


28 



INTRODUCTION 


The entire gan^i along with a large part of the 
bada of the sanetuary caved in long ago Ks the extant 
portions conform to the correspondmg parts of the 
contemporary temples of YamcSvara and Ananta- 
Vasudeva of Bhubaneswar, it may be presumed that 
theiarand’ahadtenmouldmgs.theAronifcaof the garvfi 
was subdivided into ten bhumis (planes or storeys), 
demarcated by bhumi-amlas, the anuralha had mima- 
ture representations of a rekha deul m vertical suc- 
cession, the ro/ia had an mterlacmgs of c/iai/yo-wmdow 
motifs besides projecting hons or lions-on-elephants 
(p 68) and the crownmg elements consisted of a 
succession of a beki, amla, khapun, kalaSa and dhvaja 

In front of the eastern stancase of the porch, but 
separated by an open space where the dhvaja-stambha 
fp 80) had originally stood, is a pillared structure 
5)1 XXn), the bhoga-mandapa (p 81) Thus, the 
general layout of the complex is similar to that of the 
Yamelvara temple of Bhubaneswar As m the latter, 
the porches in front of the pSrSva devatas (pp 69-71), 
who occupy the niches of the central projections of 
the sanctuary, are parts of one unified scheme and 
are not later additions like those of the Lingaraja 
temple at Bhubaneswar 

The sanctum is now open to the sky. To presume 
from other Onssan temples, there were several mudas 
(ceilmgs) tymg the four walls at regular mtervals 
The blmd chamber over the bottom ceilmg (garbha- 
mudd) was accessible by roughly-cut steps provided 
over the ceilmg of the passage leading to the sanctum 
The mudas, which presumably rested on corbels, were 
remfapced by gigantic iron beams, obfong m section 
These beams were made of a number of iron rods 
heated and welded together, the surface bemg beaten 
smooth 

Three kmds of stones were used m the structures 


29 



KONARAK 


While the use of chloritfc was limited to the door- 
frame and a few sculptures, latente was used m the 
invisible core of the platform and staircases besides 
the foundation The rest was built of a poor quality 
of khondalite The selection of this easily-weathered 
gametiferous felspathic gneiss proved fatal to the 
monument In many places the constituent felspar 
has been altered to kaohnicand serpentmous material 
and the garnet has been decomposed to a spongy mass 
of oxide None of these three kinds of stones are 
available in the vicinity No doubt, it was a Hercu- 
lean feat to transport the colossal quantity of heavy 
stones from a distance of many miles and to lift and 
set in position the prodigious blocks at a height of 
nearly 61 m in an age not favoured with modem 
mechanical inventions Evidently, the stones were 
transported by rafts along distributaries m this part 
of the delta The Chandrabhaga, now died up, possi- 
bly served as the last artery of transport The method 
of carrying stones at the work-spot is illustrated on 
a paneh fixed on the temple of Siddha-Mahavira 
near Pun Here the labourers are seen carrying poles, 
from which stones are suspended by means of ropes, 
along a wooden ramp supported on posts The de- 
pendence was, thus, principally on human labour, 
yet, the possibility of the use of simple contrivances 
like pulleys, wooden wheels or rollers for lifting the 
heavy stones to heights cannot be entirely ruled out 
The masonry is ashlar The facing stones are 
smoothly finished and fitted together so finely that 
the joints are hardly visible The stones were laid 
dry evenly and horizontally one upon another and kept 
m position by their weight and balance, aided by iron 
cramps and dowels The inner filling was not in the 

K Bose, *A temple under construction’ /£>»r Ind Soc 
Oriental Art, XIII (1945), pp 196 98 


30 



INTRODUCTION 


least neglected Though mortar was not used in 
the joints, a plaster of lime and sand was applied to 
the body to a large extent 

From some unfinished carvings it is clear that the 
designs were carved iii sitii only after the stones had 
been fed m position 

D Sculptural art 

The exterior walls of the entire edifice from the 
base of the upam to the top of the ganiii arc embel- 
lished with an amazing amount of bold sculptures 
and delicate carvings, the inert stone thus enlivened 
into an inspired orgy of sculptural magnificence No 
doubt, the artisans ‘built like Titans and finished 
like jewellers’ Despite its richness and exuberance, 
the sculpture not only does not dominate the archi- 
tecture but actually serves to emphasize the supreme 
majesty of the temple 

The themes of the embellishments may broadly be 
classified into (i) deities (pi XVII A), (ii) musician- 
nymphs (pis XV and XVI) of the celestial spheres, 
(lit) secular sculptures (pis VJI A and C, IX, X and 
XIV B), (iv) birds, beasts, aquatic animals and 
composite and mythological figures including nagas 
(pi VII B), iidgu and virdte sometimes with the head 
of an elephant or demon, (v) architectural motifs like 
pida mmdis (fig 3, A), khakhara mimdis (fig 3, B), 
vajra-mtindis (fig 3, C), pilasters, mouldings, chaitya- 
windows, trellis, etc , and (vi) purely decorative pat- 
terns woven out of floral, plant and geometrical motifs 
The secular sculptures include beautiful alasa- 
kanyas (‘indolent damsels’) vaunting their voluptuous 
beauty in seductive poses, musicians and dancers, 
love (pis IX and X), both sublime and sensual, in 
greatly movmg forms and above all a fairly large 


31 





INTRODUCTION 


number of secular themes. That the main pivot of tile 
last was the king and facets of his daily life including 
his deeds, both trivial and great, his war and peace, 
his life both within the palace and outside, his amuse- 
ments and his engagements, both temporal and spiri- 
tual, is everywhere patently obvious, the number of 
genre sculptures (pi. TO A) being extremely rare. The 
profusion of the drama of royal hunts and processions 
and military scenes from whole army — infantry, 
cavalry and elephants marching in full accoutrement 
and war-steeds ruthlessly crushing an enemy under 
their hoofs — speaks in no unmistakable phrases that 
the edifice is the realization of the dazzling dream of 
an ambitious and mighty king, secular to the core and 
with immense zest for life, who wanted an edifice which 
would outrival the works of his forbears and im- 
mortalize his name. The joy of a princely life on 
earth and expression of the luxuriousness prevailing 
in the royal environment are writ large everywhere. 
The carvers were so much busy in carrying out with 
unending patience the deliberate designs of the king, 
in imprinting the king and in perpetuating on stone 
the subjects which pleased him that they had little 
scope or choice in recording the daily life of the com- 
mon people who toiled hard and poured tlieir very 
souls to make the vast building project a supreme 
achievement. The vision of the king, whose persona- 
lity has been fully reflected in these secular sculptures, 
has thus been completely fulfilled. 

A wordisnecessaiyonthe flagrantly-erotio sculp- 
tmes of Konarak, which, by their character, large 
size and enormous number, cannot fait to draw the 
attention of the visitor. A strong sensual element 
is almost ubiquitous in the art of difierent places and 
times. Life in its voluptuously physical aspects is 
depicted on the terracottas of as ear''' "'b S'lnga 


33 



KONARAK 


period (second and first centuries B C ) Again, 
amorous adventures and the frank statement of the 
most earthly aspects were never a taboo in old literature 
To the artist art is amoral Apart from Konarak 
and many other temples of Orissa, there are centres 
where it plays a prominent part m temple-decoration 
There does not seem to exist any canonical 
injunction on the occurrence of erotic sculptures on 
temples No popular explanation (for example, their 
being the outcome of a desire to ward off lightning 
or the evil eye) carries convictions No less doubtful 
are such modem pseudo-spiritual explanations as that 
the sculptures were intended to test the devotees, 
so that only those who remained psychologically un- 
affected by liiem were considered eligible to enter the 
sanctum sanctorum Nor can the sculptures be re- 
garded as illustrating the KSma iastras (erotic texts) 
or Tantnc practices and perversions Any plausible 
explanation must take into account their possible 
historical developments from the simple and amorous 
mithmas (couples) occurring on early temples 
The artist has impartially depicted all the rasas (senti- 
ments) and has m no way emphasized Sfingara (ero- 
tics) over others In any case, the fact stands out that 
the sculptor, in interespcrsing such sculptures with 
divme and other figures, did not give them any pre- 
ferential or derogatory treatment, and similar must 
have been the attitude of the devotee who visited the 
temple for worship Obviously obtrusive and shock- 
ing to the modem eye, the ancients must have accord- 
ed sanction to such overt and uninhibited expression 
of eroticism for some reason or other and taken the 
manifestations of the primordial impulse in a natural 
way 

A study of the sculptures and reliefs of Temple 1 
rc\eals that there are marked differences both m the 


34 



INTRODUCTION 


Style and artistic quality of various groups of sculp- 
tures. This is natural in a monumental edifice like this 
where several himdred artists must have worked, 
all of them perhaps not belonging to one school. It 
is furtlier apparent that the important sculptures were 
finished by the master-sculptors, while the others were 
left to their pupils and apprentices. Tlie workmanship, 
thus, ranges from mediocre toahigh pitch of excellence. 

Thus, the free-standing celestial nymphs (pis. XV 
and XVI) of rather over life-size on the first and second 
terraces of the porch are superb in execution. With 
fully-developed bodies, swelling busts, rounded hips, 
amplitude of modelling, delicate curves, effective 
rhythmic action of the limbs and divinely ecstatic face 
and with an expression of grace and elegance, these 
figures, executed fully in the round, play on various 
instruments in honour of the Great Splendour that 
illumines the world. In their ecstasy, all of them, 
except the player on vlitSy cannot restrain their feet 
from dancing. These musicians were, no doubt, the 
creation of a master of superb plastic imagination 
and high'aesthetic vision and with a wonderful feel- 
ing for fluid form. The artist has succeeded comple- 
tely in giving form to his inner aesthetic realization. 

The workmanship of the almost life-sized elephants 
(pi. XIX) and war-steeds 0>1* XX), which guarded 
die northern and southern stairs of the porch, is also 
of a high calibre. The dramatic vitality and exube- 
rant drive of the latter are as much compelling as the 
plasticity and strength of the former. Elephants, 
as a rule, received excellent treatment in the hands of 
ailisVs. Tht: is lendeied ■wi'ih wondeiM 

realism. The dramatic composition and the plastic 
quality of the elephants in file on the xipana are also 
exquisite. The animals are shown in a variety of 
actions. The violent protest during /t/?cr/a-operations 


35 



KONARAK 


IS expressed as effectively as the calm resignation to 
bondage at the hands of man 

Again, the assured hand of an artist with an exqui- 
site feel for the body is discernible in the large erotic 
sculptures (pi IX), evidently carved with inspiration 
Pulsatmg with the warmth of human emotion, most 
of these figures, with inherently superb sculptural quahti- 
es, exhibit a rare sensitiveness and abandon of feeling 
Some of the vivacious kanyaSy particularly the large 
ones, are remarkable for their pliability, subtlety of 
modellmg, luxuriousness of appearance and voluptuous 
charms, expressed m a wide variety of engagmg gestures 
The fingers of the artist who carved the chlorite 
pdr£va-devatas (p\ XVIIA) were both deft and precise 
The majestic figures, despite their dignified modellmg, 
are, however, formal and rigid, as their author, who 
had little scope m giving form to his plastic concep- 
tion and aesthetic vision m respect of cult-images, 
had to labour under the convention of fashionmg 
the deities in conformity with the canonical formulae 
Yet, the sublime smile, expressive of ineffable peace, 
that plays on the benign face, is amazing 

Juxtaposed against these chef-d*mtvres is the cliche 
of conventionalized figures of men and women carved 
on the faces of the berm Lacking in expression, 
most of these figures are rendered with poor modellmg 
Evidently, they are the copies of unimaginative 
apprentices with a thm aesthetic vision 

The bhoga-mandapa is characterized by an unres- 
trained abundance of plastic embellishment (pi XXIII) 
The latter does not have the effect of richness and ele- 
gance egual to that of the temple The decorative 
instmctof the artist — evidentlyamediocre— has prepos- 
sessed him so deeply that he is blind to the total effect 
of the assemblage One rather feels tired with the 
monotonous over-omamentation, lack of balanced 


36 



INTRODUCTION 


composition and mediocre quality in the sculpture. 
The themes are more limiteif than in the case of the 
main temple and hardly introduce any new topic. 
The most recurring subject is the dancers and musi- 
cians with their joy and abandon expressed rather in 
too eloquent a fashion. 


37 



3 THE MONUMENTS 


A. Temple 1 (main temple-complex) 

A s ALREADY NOTED, THE MAIN TEMPLE COMPLEX 
consists of a sanctuary, its attached porch and 
an isolated pillared edifice Erected on an 
impressive berm, the sanctuary and the porch^ are 
the two components of a single unified architectural 
scheme, the whole fabric being designed as the celes- 
tial chariot (pis IV and V) of the Sun-god who is 
believed in Hindu mythology to course across the sky 
in a chariot of seven horses The twelve pairs of 
wheels, which possibly symbolize the twelve months, 
of this earthly chariot are carved against the three 
sides of the berm and two sides of the front (east) 
staircase, the latter having further by its sides, but m 
the van, seven (three on the northern flank and four 
on the southern) admirably-sculptured gallopmghorses, 
fully caparisoned and spurred to run the colossal 
car Below the berm and the staircases is a lowi/pd/jo, 
with a narrow ledge-like projection, around which 
is a paved apron Three broad flights of steps, facing 
the north, south and east doors of the porch, lead 
to the top of the berm 

The tipdna 

The fa 9 ade of the updiiOy which has at intervals 

* The height of the porch from the base of the ttpana to the 
top of the extant portion of the khapun is about 39 m The 
original height of the sanctmy (from the base of the vpand), to 
judge from the measurements of its surviving parts and its pro 
portions m relation to the porch, must have been more than 61 m 


38 



THE MONUMENTS 


raised insets mostly relieved with ornate chaitya- 
windows, is richly treated with friezes, the latter framed 
by two horizontal bands, each with a central bead* 
ed string. These friezes arc limited in themes. The 
most recurring motif comprises elephants' in their 
sylvan retreats — elephants in defile, uprooting trees 
and branches and calmly consuming them, sometimes 
putting food into the eager mouths of the young ones 
affectionately, giving birth, fondling the mates and 
the young ones, prankishly catching hold with the 
trunk one of the legs of the companion and in other 
similar peaceful feats and very rarely overpowering 
other animals. In one scene on the south face of 
the central projection of the south side some elephants 
are seen drinking water in a river infested with cro- 
codiles, one of the latter mortally discomfited for its 
daring to attack one of the elephants. Some of the 
processions of these animals arc not only graphic but 
magnificent. 

This wild retreat is often intruded into by men 
coming stealthily with the object of capturing the 
elephants, the latter forming the prized possession of 
the ancient nobility. Indeed, the capture of clejihants 
(pi. XVIII B) was a favourite motif with the artists of 
Konarak. It is done without or with a kheda (en- 
closure for catching elephants), this operation depic- 
ted in all minute details in numerous panels. In the 
former case the elephants arc caught with the help 
of a noose thrown either round their neck by men in 
ambush on a tree or round the legs from the ground. 
In some dramatic scenes a number of persons are 
seen busy with the task, some putting nooses around 
the neck and legs of the protesting animal, while 
others are overpowering the poor creature with spears. 

' The number of elephants depicted on the vpSna alone in 
various contexts exceed seventeen hundred. 


39 



KONARAK 


In the /r^e^a-operations, the wild elephants are lured 
generally by tame elephants into a cage made for the 
purpose and then tamed. In a few friezes two per- 
sons, perched on a slanting wooden platform by the 
side of a cage, are seen hurting the entrapped stub- 
born animal with spears, evidently to bring it under 
submission. Some friezes depict a file of captured 
elephants, clamly resigned to their lot. Tied one with 
the other by a long rope and preceded by a troop of 
armed men or a band of musicians, these animal 
are meekly proceeding towards the destination, pre- 
sumably the royal stable. In some scenes men are 
seen carrying provisions on yokes and a large ring- 
like object, the latter suspended from a rod held over 
the shoulder. Very rarely the elephant is the target of 
the arrow of a hunter. 

Next in order of frequency are the military marches 
and processions, often depicted in a rhythmic composi- 
tion. The fully-equipped army consists of elephants, 
cavalry and infantry, the chariot being conspicuously 
absent. Each war-clephant carries two men— the 
elephant-driver with a goad at the van and the warrior 
usually with a sword and a shield in the rear. The 
movement of the elephants is both vigorous and rhy- 
thmic. Sometimes the elephants are seen trampling 
under their legs other animals encountered during 
their march tmough the woods. The horse carries 
a single cavalier, armed either with a sword or a long 
spear; the latter would sometimes pierce an animal 
like boar, met accidentally on the way. The infan^ 
is equipped either with a sword and a shield or with 
a long spear. The marching troops are sometimes 
accompanied by persons and beasts of Burden, carry- 
ing provisions and supplies. In some processions is 
depicted a band of musicians, along with a horseman, 
an elephant carrying a warrior with a bow besides 


40 



THE MONUMENTS 


the elephant-driver and a man with a long spear or 
staff. 

Hunting of animals — generally the boar and deer 
and rarely lion — ^with either a bow and arrow or a 
spear seems to have been a favourite pastime of the 
warrior class. Often the hunter is the king himself, 
seated on horseback. His retinue usuallj' consists 
of a bearer of an umbrella, the royal insigm'a, and 
foot-soldiers armed with swords and shields. The 
breath-taking vital moments in the hunting operations 
are often perpetuated on stone with great effect. Par- 
ticularly dramatic are those scenes where the animals, 
chased by the king and miming pell-mell at their top 
speed, are suddenly cornered by the king’s followers 
coming from the opposite direction. In one scene 
a vyudha (hunter) couple is seen proceeding towards 
a herd of boars. 

The subject of a few friezes is a caravan. The 
bearers of merchandise are usually animals, generally 
bullocks, but, in some scenes, men also carry com- 
modities along with the beasts of burden. The jour- 
ney is notalways smooth and the caravan is sometimes 
surprised by a band of armed bandits. One of the 
scenes of the journey, depicted on the northern face 
of the central projection of the north side, acts as a 
great relief on the monotonous repetitions. Pervaded 
by an atmosphere of domesticity, it depicts the 
party halting near a grove for the preparation of a 
meal.' In the extreme dexter a woman, seated on 
a low wooden seat, is attending to the fire put inside 
a double oven, on which are placed two cooking- 
ve^ls. Babind hsr is a hsavSy4oaded ffullOTi- 
cart at rest, with the animals unyoked. To the sinister 
of the cart is a standing man. Behind him is 
another lady attending to a double oven on which are 
perched again two cooking-pots. To the sinister is 


41 



KONARAK 


In the /c/je^fa-operations, the wild elephants are lured 
generally by tame elephants into a cage made for the 
purpose and then tamed In a few friezes two per- 
sons, perched on a slanting wooden platform by the 
side of a cage, are seen hurting the entrapped stub- 
born animal with spears, evidently to bring it imder 
submission Some friezes depict a file of captured 
elephants, clamly resigned to their lot Tied one with 
the other by a long rope and preceded by a troop of 
armed men or a band of musicians, these animal 
are meekly proceedmg towards the destmation, pre- 
sumably the royal stable In some scenes men are 
seen carrymg provisions on yokes and a large rmg- 
like object, die latter suspended from a rod held over 
the shoulder Very rarely the elephant is the target of 
the arrow of a hunter 

Next m order of frequency are the military marches 
and processions, often depicted m a rhythmic composi- 
tion The fuUy-equipped army consists of elephants, 
cavalry and infantry, the chariot bemg conspicuously 
absent Each war-elephant carries two men— the 
elephant driver with a goad at the van and the warrior 
usually With a sword and a shield in the rear The 
movement of the elephants is both vigorous and rhy- 
thmic Sometimes &e elephants are seen trampling 
under their legs other animals encountered durmg 
their march through the woods The horse carries 
a smgle cavalier, armed either with a sword or a long 
spear, the latter would sometimes pierce an animal 
like boar, met accidentally on the Way The infantry 
IS equipped either with a sword and a shield or with 
a long spear The marchmg troops are sometimes 
accompamed by persons and beasts of burden, carry- 
ing provisions and supplies In some processions is 
depicted a band of musicians, along with a horseman, 
an elephant carrying a warrior with a bow besides 


40 



THE MONUMENTS 


the elephant-driver and a man with a long spear or 
staff. 

Hunting of animals — ^generally the boar and deer 
and rarely lion— with either a bow and arrow or a 
spear seems to have been a favourite pastime of the 
warrior class. Often the hunter is the king himself, 
seated on horseback. His retinue usually consists 
of a bearer of an umbrella, the royal insignia, and 
foot-soldiers armed with swords and shields. The 
breath-taking vital moments in the hunting operations 
are often perpetuated on stone with great effect. Par- 
ticularly dramatic are those scenes where the animals, 
chased by the king and running pell-mell at their top 
speed, are suddenly cornered by the king’s followers 
coming from the opposite direction. In one scene 
a vyOdha (hunter) couple is seen proceeding towards 
a herd of boars. 

The subject of a few friezes is a caravan. The 
bearers of merchandise are usually animals, generally 
bullocks, but, in some scenes, men also carry com- 
modities along with the beasts of burden. The jour- 
ney is notalways smooth and the caravan is sometimes 
surprised by a band of armed bandits. One of the 
scenes of the journey, depicted on the northern face 
of the central projection of the north side, acts as a 
great relief on the monotonous repetitions. Pervaded 
by an atmosphere of domesticity, it depicts the 
party halting near a grove for the preparation of a 
meal.’ In the extreme dexter a woman, seated on 
a low wooden seat, is attending to the lire put inside 
a double oven, on which are placed two cooking- 
vessels. Behind her is a heavily-loaded bullock- 
cart at rest, with the animals unyoked. To the sinister 
of the cart is a standing man. Behind him is 
another lady attending to a double oven on which are 
perched again two cooking-pots. To the sinister is 


41 



KONARAK 


a figure engaged m cutting vegetables with the help 
of a long cutter fitted to a wooden seat Behind this 
figure IS a standing figure pounding grams (or husking 
nee) with a large wooden mortar {udukhala) 

Noteworthy among the remainmg themes are 
a contest m which a long rope is seen being pulled by 
a row of athletes as in a tug of war (on the south face 
below the south staircase) and an encounter The 
latter is depicted on the west face of the central pro- 
jection of the northern side An armed nnnee on 
horsebackwithanumbrella-bearermfrontis here taken 
by surprise by two cavaliers Behind him is a queen 
(to judge from the umbrellas) with a child in her lap 
inside a round palanquin (dola) carried by men 

Among the animals carved on the updna, the pre- 
sence of a giraffe on the south face is noteworthy 

The berm 

Like the bdda of the fully-developed Onssan rekha 
and pidS temples, the fa 9 ade (pi VI) of the berm (over 
4 m high) and the sides of the three stairways have 
five clear-cut horizontal divisions The lowest divi- 
sion consists, as m the pabhdga of tlie temples, of five 
mouldings, namely, khurd, himbha, pa^a kam and 
basanta These mouldings are connected at intervals 
by vertical bands, relieved with creepers and scroll- 
work, their bottoms ending in a c/m/tj’fl-window motif 
The muhanti of the khitrd^ the lowest moulding, and the 
basanta, the top moulding, arc richly carved with leaves 
bordered by two bands, each with a central beaded 
string In the remaining portion of the khura is a 
senes of lotus petals, each alternating with a beaded 
pendant, this senes is capped by a second, but 
plainer, senes The motif in the po/d is a creeper accom- 
modating in Its foils flowers, leaves and various 


42 



the monuments 

animals But for the tankus at intervals, the kam is 

next division corresponds to Ae 
0fthe6a-da It has pilaster-like upright slabs punctu- 
ated at close intervals %m\hkliSkhara-mund^, most ot 
them set off with telling effect against a background 
of honeycomb pattern 

In the niches of the khakhara mundis are 
variously engaged Many of them are 
sels), shown as wrmgmg water from the 
waiting by the side of a half-opened door, ® S 
under a tree, holdmg the branch of a tree, S 

pet bird, doing her toilet, exhibitingher beauty, seated 
on a footed seat with hands busy on a vino, e g 
discoi^ted by monkeys who are after the bowl s 
carrying and the like One of the g^i^P 
a genre one, is particularly touching ° j - 

south face of the central projection of the west side of 
the deui, it depicts the leave taking of an old mother 
presumably on the eve of her departure on a pilgrimag 
(pi VII A) The mother, bent under age, tenderly 
blesses her son The prostrate ‘^nn^Jer m- 
taking reverently the dust of her feet, while the 
child fondly clings to her The remaining gu 
are in otherroles a princely figure, seated m 
on a footed seat with a sceptre like , i.w 

hand, being approached by others, a j.,. 

personage among his pupils and devotees, a m , 

sing his pet bird, a couple proceeding on foot, 

ing ascetic, a man huntmg either n ° ..EiBidl 
a warrior (armed with a sword and n large j 
with a woman with folded hands, a man wi 
hands, a man with a yoke having loads tang^g a‘ 
both ends, an archer, a man caressing ._id,er 
a man brandishing a sword towards a woman, a soime 
looking at a mirror, a mother with her chil , <■ 


43 



KONARAK 


With a sword, a female with a staff in her right hand 
and a bowl in her left, perched on the raised palms 
of a fierce-looking male, and comical, erotic and 
amorous figures The meaning of one particular 
scene is not clear Here a robeless woman (rarely 
a man) is seen standing with flames of fire between the 
legs Similar scenes occur also on the upright slabs 

The upright slabs arc boldly relieved usually with 
the following motifs — 

(i) Rampant virala (Sanskrit vydla), a leonine 
figure on an elephant — a characteristic embellishment 
of the Orissan temples Sometimes it is shown with 
the head of either an eleplwnt or a demon, springing 
over a fierce-looking demonish warrior The theme of 
a lion pouncing upon an elephant finds parallel in 
Sanskrit literature, where the prowess of a lion is often 
indicated by describing it as breaking the temple of an 
elephant 

(ii) Erotic and amorous figures 

(111) Ndgas (pi Vir B) or ndgis, each with a human 
bust, a multi-hooded canopy and the tail of a serpent, 
coiling round a pillar Generally single and sometimes 
double often in fond embrace (rarely with a third depict- 
ed below), these mythical beings are carved beauti- 
fully in various roles— playing on musical instruments 
like a drum, flute and vi>w, with two palms joined as m 
anjah mudrd (sometimes with a flower in the folded 
hands), with ghafas, flowers, garlands, rosaries and 
bowls of offerings and sometimes with arms crossed 
on the chests With their pious looks, these flgures, 
when represented singly, present a sharp contrast to the 
kanyds 

(iv) Heautifuf kanyds, often fascivous and trying 
to show off their voluptuous beauty in various sugges- 
tive flexions— standmg gracefully under a tree, playing 
rhythmically on musical mstruments like a \md, 


44 



Titc MONinnxis 


cymbals and flute, holding the branch of a tree, adjust- 
ing her ear-stud, caressing her pet bird often perched 
on her arm or palm, standing in an alluring posture 
with two arms raised mer her head, Tondlmg a child 
or children, plueking flowers, allow ing a goose to peck 
at a bunch held in her hand, in toilet, with arms crossed 
on the chest, with her forefinger placed below her 
mouth, carryingasword, with a bowl, holding chamaras 
(fly-whisk) and the like The amusing plight of 
a woman disconcerted by a band of prankish monkeys, 
hankering after the bowl of delicious food which she is 
carrying on her head, is depicted on several slabs 
In one the monkeys arc seen devouring the contents of 
the vessel which is lying near the feel of the woman 
(v) Miscellaneous figures, depicted cither alone or 
in a company, c g a boyish figure, sometimes carrying 
a cup-like object in its left hand, a man chastising a 
couple with a sword, a figure with folded hands, a 
person carrying a woman on the shoulder, a man play- 
ing on a drum {paUioaj), an armed soldier with folded 
hands, a princely figure with two umbrellas held over 
the head by two dwarfish figures, a man leaning on a 
staff below a tree and a robclcss woman with blazing 
fire between the legs 

In the bSndhana, the third division, are three mould- 
ings — \arani, noli and basanta The first and the 
last have scroll work having, within the foils, animals, 
birds, leaves and flowers, while the nob contains two 
series of lotus-petals with a central line of beads The 
recess between the mouldings is relics cd with honey- 
comb pattern The mouldings arc connected by verti- 
cal bands, the latter in line with the khaUiara miinilis 
of the lower jangha These bands arc relieved either 
with scroll-work or creepers or have niches containing 
figures, including erotic ones, and kanySs in various 
roles, some bemg in the clutches of monkeys 


45 



KONARAK 


In the upper jangha are large pancha-ratha pilasters, 
placed in the same vertical alignment as the larger 
khakhara mundis of the lower jangha These pilasters 
have three mouldings at the base and a set of another 
three at the top, the uppermost resemblmg a lotus 
Between these pilasters are slabs, both broad and thin 
The thin ones are relieved mostly with kanyas and 
erotic figures like those on the uprights of the lower 
jangha, but these figures are often slightly larger m 
size The broad slabs are particularly remarkable for 
elaborate compositions unfortunately very few of 
them have survived 

In one, carved on the east face (in line with a 
portion of the southern kcmika of the east face of the 
porch), a person is seen practising archery, while a 
group of armed men with folded hands face towards 
the archer, below are depicted two elephants and two 
horses with grooms and umbrella bearers 

A second relief on the south face (in line with a 
portion of the eastern kamka of the south face of the 
porch) depicts a temple m which are enshrined images 
of MahishSsuramardini, Jagannatha and a linga 
(largely broken) on a footed pedestal To the right 
is seen a royal worshipper, followed by attendants, 
handmg over a garland to the priest Below are two 
elephants, each with an elephant-driver, and an armed 
man with a shield There are two more similar but 
larger sculptures of chlorite (one in the local Museum 
and the other removed to the National Museum, 
New Delhi), which most probably were m the exterior 
niches (p 67) of the sanctuary These reliefs 
indicate not only the extension of the royal homage 
to deities of the Vaishnava, Sakta and iSaiva cults but 
also the existence of goodwill and feeling of toleration 
that apparently prevailed among the adherents of 
different cults 


46 



THE MONUMENTS 


In the third, carved on the west face of the central 
projection of the south side of the porch, a princely 
figure, armed with a dagger, is perhaps lookmg at his 
reflection m a mirror 

The fourth on the south face (in line with the recess 
between the amiratha and kamka of the western flank 
of the south side of the porch) depicts a man and a 
woman, the latter with a dupatta (scarf) on her head, 
standing below a tree (pi VII C) Above it is the 
representation of a pidd structure, and below are 
carved a riderless horse, a groom, umbrella-bearers and 
foot-soldiers, two each 

In a fifth relief on the south face (m line with a por- 
tion of the western kanika of the south side of the 
porch) a king, seated on an elephant, receives ovation 
from a group of outlandish men, clad in frilled petti- 
coat-like lower garments Evidently they have brought 
for the king surprise presents which include a giraffe, 
an animal foreign to India The scene is laid under a 
flowering tree with peacocks perched on it 

In a sixth relief on the south face (m line with the 
south-west comer of the porch), a poor soldier with a 
knapsack, a shield and a sword is seen taking a short 
rest, possibly after a strenuous journey on foot, under 
a shady tree along with his wife, the latter carrying her 
child on the waist and a box on her head 

A seventh depicted on the south face (in line 
With the junction between the sanctuary and porch) 
shows a king killing a bear by catching hold of it 
by legs 

The eighth scene on the north face (m line with a 
portion of the western kanika of the north face of 
the porch) depicts a royal horseman with a bow in 
hand and followed by an armed retinue on a hunting 
mission The animals, the prey, are circled by the 
attendants 


47 



KONARAK 


In the ninth a homely scene within a palace is 
carved on the east face (m line with a portion of the 
northern kanika of the east side of the porch) A 
royal figure, cosily seated on a throne amidst a group 
within a pillared double-tiered pavilion, is seen fondling 
a baby On the smister side of the pavilion stands an 
elephant, near which there is a group of persons with 
folded hands and a groom Evidently these persons 
are the entourage of the king, waiting for the latter to 
mount, a presumption partly supported by the lower 
register, which depicts the necessary paraphernalia of 
a king about to undertake a journey, thus by the 
sides of a vacant palanqum (with a bolster) of the type 
generally used by the royal ladies and a royal carriage 
are the umbrellas and bearers Beside them are a 
riderless caparisoned horse, two foot soldiers, one 
equipped with a sword and the other with a bow and 
arrow, and four pots containing provisions 

In some reliefs an important personage is seen 
seated either on a chauki {foo\t6 seat) or on the ground 
within a pillared pavilion, evidently delivering a dis- 
course to an assemblage of men, either standing or 
seated Many of the latter are princes, or noblemen 
as they came on horses, elephants or rfo/d, these along 
with some persons, presumably attendants, being 
depicted below the pavilipn Some of these attendants 
hold umbrellas 

The \aran^a consists of two mouldings separated 
by a recess The last has on it a honeycomb pattern 
with insets, relieved with yakshas in the attitude of 
supporting superstructure at intervals The lower 
moulding, of which only fragments are now extant at 
places, are in two planes The ■^per, thinner and 
more projected, contains a row of flowers (generally a 
diamond shaped flower alternating with a four- 
petalled flower) The lower, with friezes within beaded 


48 



THE MONUMENTS 


borders, depicts generally the pursuits of the warrior- 
class (i) military march consisting of elephants carrying 
warriors (rarely a came! is seen in the group of elepha- 
nts carrying armed soldiers) armed with shields, foot- 
soldiers usually with shields and swords, and cavalry, 
(ii) homage to thehingbythe vanquished consisting of 
infantry, cavalry and elephant, the last two dismounted 
and with folded hands before the king, the latter seated 
within a royal roofed carriage, (iii) submission of the 
defeated king (threatened by the conqueror with a 
brandishing sword), his entourage with vacant palan- 
quin, riderless horses and rows of umbrellas ivaitmg 
in a line, (iv) a duel, both men armed with a sword and 
a shield (one oblong and the other round), (v) sub- 
duing infuriated war-elephant with long spears, (vi) 
actual fight between foot-soldiers, (vii) processions of 
elephants with an elephant-driver, and (viii) a special 
procession of men carrying an empty palanquin and 
princely carriage, umbrella-bearers, provision-carriers 
and banner-holders, evidently going for the king 

The top moulding over the recess is also m two 
planes The upper, more projected, contains a senes 
of lotus-petals with a row of geese or floral motif 
(four petalled flowers alternating with diamond-shaped 
flowers) on a projected fillet below The lower depicts 
friezes like marching of army, row of elephants, 
provision carriers and assemblage before a king with a 
beaded border below A few fragments of this 
moulding have .survived in dislocated condition 

The wheels 

As already noted (p 38), the wheels (p! VI) 
are carved against the face of the berm Treated 
magnificently, each wheel consists of an axle kept in 
position by a pm as in a bullock-cart, a hub, a felly 


49 



kONARAK 


and sixteen spokes, of which eight are broad and the 
other eight thin The hub is decorated with beaded 
nngs and a row of lotus-petals, the latter m a few 
wheels having dancers and musicians very rhythmi- 
cally composed, and the feUy with elaborate scroll- 
work (within beaded borders) containing within many 
of the foils birds and beasts m various actions The 
spokes project beyond the felly The thin ones have a 
row of alternate beads and discs The broad spokes 
again broaden near the centre where they assume 
roughly the shape of a diamond The remaining 
portion of the spokes are mmutely carved with scroll- 
work, floral motifs, creepers, beaded strings and 
stylized chaitya-mndov/s In the central part of the 
diamonds is a medallion These medallions contain 
variously deities (e g Isana, Isaru, Surya, Vishnu and 
his incarnations), erotic and amorous figures, kanycis 
in various poses, a nobleman with a man standing 
with folded hands, a princely cavalier, a man playing 
on cymbals, a cavalier huntmg a boar, a man having 
a sword with a second man standing m front of him, 
elephant-riders, a cavalier attacking an animal with a 
long spear, shootmg an arrow towards a pair of deer 
or a lion or brandishing his sword towards a man and 
a seated person approached by others with folded 
hands Similar medallions also occur on the face of 
the axle The available ones contain a god m the 
company of a goddess ^iva-Parvatl?), Gaja-Lakshmi, 
Krishna playing on a flute amidst an. assemblage of 
gopas (cowherds), gopjs and cows, Narasimha, a king 
on an elephant with a group of persons in front seeking 
mercy and a cavalier with a sword. 

The parch (jagamahana) 

Built on a low pishtOy the bada of the porch (pi 
VIII) IS pahcha-ratha on plan and has five horizontal 


50 



THE MONUMENTS 


diwhions—pdbhaga, lower jangha, bandhand, upper 
jdngha and varanda. In the conspicuously projected 
rdhdt on the front, north and south sides, are provided 
doors and steps communicating the doors with the 
berm. The western rdhd provides internally a passage 
leading to the door of the sanctum. 

PiSHTA. — It consists of two mouldings — khurd&nd 
a combination of inverted khurd and khiird — with a 
honeycombed recess in between. The scroll-work, 
with animals, flowers and leaves woven into its foils, 
within beaded borders on the muhdnti of the khurd, 
the lowest moulding, is capped at intervals by projected 
insets relieved with motifs like c/?m7yn-windows and 
animals. In the sloping part of the khurd are ornate 
lotus-petals, each alternating with a beaded pendant. 
The central band of the upper moulding is carved 
luxuriantly with leaves and the upper sloping part with 
ornate petals and pendants. Receding from the upper 
moulding is a vertical strip, carved, as in the topmost 
part of the varanda of the berm, with ornate petals, 
each alternating with a pendant. 

Pabhaga of the kanika and anuratha of the 
BADA. — ^The pdbhdga of these rathas has a set of five 
mouldings— kumbha, paid, kani and basanta— 
on either side of an elaborate khdkhard-mimdi, the 
latter itself arranged in between four pilasters. The 
muhdnti of the khurd, the bottom moulding, is lavishly 
carved with three horizontal bands within beaded 
borders; while the central band, the broadest, has 
foliated leaves, the top and bottom ones present 
creepers olten iviih various motifs mtkm ti^ foils. 
The remaining portion of this moulding is relieved with 
ornate lotus-petals and pendants and has at intervals 
a c/whya-window, also ornate, immediately above the 
muhd^ji. Crowning the khura is a second tiny khurd 


51 



KONARAK 


With a honeycomb pattern at the muhanti and lotus- 
petals and beaded strings on the body A minutely 
carved string encircles the plain himbha, which has 
as Its neck a khura-sh.aptd member with creepers on the 
muhanti Animals are interwoven among the foils of 
the creeper that relieves the paid The kcmi is austerely 
plain, while the basanta is richly treated with foliated 
leaves within beaded borders 

As already noted, the khakhard mundis^ are elabo- 
rately composed Paiicha ratha on plan, they have a 
set of four mouldings m the pabhdga, a carved jdngha 
with a central niche and a \aranda in the form of a 
noli relieved with two rows of lotus-petals with a 
beaded Ime m between In the niches are composi- 
tions such as (i) a seated king, with a small sword 
m hand, fronted by two figures, one with a manuscript 
and the other with a knapsack, (n) a royal cavalier, 
shooting an arrow at two animals, in the company of a 
foot soldier with a shield and sword, (in) a princely 
warrior seated on the shoulder of a giant m the com- 
pany of foot-soldiers armed with shields and swords 
and umbrella-bearers, and(iv) a seated teacher deli ver- 
mg discourse to two persons The gandi of the 
khakhard mundis consists of a succession of seven 
A/iwrd-shapecf mouldings crowned by a srdht, while 
the mastaka is a A/i«rd-shapcd pancha-ratha khakhard 
with a ghata flanked by a lion on either side as the 
crowning elements The khakhard has lotus-petals 
and chaitya window motif on the body and creepers 
With beaded borders on the muhanti 

The two inner pilasters, which immediately flank 
the khakhard nnmdi, have at the base a set of three 
mouldings crowned by two lions rampant on a single 
or double elephants, in the middle a round column 

I An almost complete one is preserved on the northern flank 
of the west face 


52 



THE MONUMENTS 


entwined by nagas and nagis, and at the top a vajra-> 
mimdi The outer pilasters, paficha ratha on plan, 
have a base of three mouldings, a faceted shaft relieved 
with scroll worh, creepers, floral motifs and beaded 
strings and at the top the upper portion of a khakhara- 
mundi, the latter crowned by a ghata with a lion or lion- 
on elephant on either side 

Lower j^gha of the kanika and the anuratha 
OF THE bada— Both the kamka and the anuratha 
of the lower jangha contain a khakhara mundi with two 
pilasters each on either side These khakhara-mundis 
have above two base mouldings a framed niche, over 
which IS a chhajjd like projection cappedby a moidding 
a srdiu and a khurd shaped khdkhard In the niches 
were detachable sculptures, eight of which presumably 
were dikpalas} the guardians of eight quarters Most 
of these sculptures, which were of chlorite like the 
ones m the mundis (p 66) of the sanctuary, were 
evidently removed m the first half of the nineteenth 
century when there was a greedy hunt for carved 
chlorite pieces (p 12) from the standing porch * Among 
the eleven antiquities donated by P C Mukherjee 
to the Indian Museum in 1893, there is an inscribed 
chlorite sculpture, which, to judge from its dimensions 
(77 5 cm high and 42 5 cm wide), ws in one of the 
mundis either of the porch or of the upper jdngha of 
the sanctuary It depicts within a pillared pavilion a 
seated figure looking like a panda (proprietary priest) 
talking to a group of nine persons, presumably the 
se\akas or officials m the service of the Sun temple 

' They are Indra (east) Agni (south east), Yama (south) 
NirfitJ (south Vicst) Varupa (nest) Vayu (northwest) Kubera 
(north) and liana (north-east) 

• Many of the chlonte sculptures of the sanctuary are preserved, 
thanks to the shroud of dibns that concealed them from sight 


53 



KONARAK 


One of the group has by his side a locked box, a second 
appears to hold writing material, while three are 
shown in the pose of counting At the extreme bottom 
IS an inscription giving the names of three persons 
— ^Valiki Nayaka in charge of expenditure (or keeping 
of account) and stores {\aya-bhandara-adhikari), Alalu 
Nayaka, the chief of stores, and Angai Nayaka m 
charge of store (koshtha-karana) ^ It is likely that 
these temple-dignitanes are portrayed in the sculpture 
In this connexion it may be recalled that among the 
seiakas of the deity of the Lingaraja temple of Bhuba- 
neswar there are still two families who hold the office 
of koshtha-karana 

The two inner pilasters, with two mouldings at the 
base and a \ajra-nnindi at the top, have their shafts 
divided into two by a set of three mouldings, m both 
the divisions are erotic or amorous figures With 
five mouldings at the base, the outer pilasters have 
richly carved pahcha-ratha shafts with a central mould- 
ing Their lotus-shaped capital, with two mouldings 
below, support a paHcha-ratha abacus, the central 
facet of the latter having the relief of either a chaitya- 
window or a yaksha in the attitude of supporting 
the superstructure 

In the recesses between the raihas are large rampant 
viralas, boldly sculptured, those carved as lions and 
shown rampant on elephants occupy the recess between 
the kamka and the anurathOy while the others, which 
are fashioned as hybrid creatures with leonine bodies 
and the head of either an elephant (often with a grim- 
looking warrior held aloft m its trunk) or a demonish 
figure and shown as rampant on an armed fierce- 
looking demonishfigure, embellish the recesses between 
the rahd and the anuratha 


* Journal oj the Asiatic Society, III (1961), pp 61 and 62 
54 



THE MONUMENTS 


Bandhana— The bandhana is composed of five 
mouldings — varam^ noh, paid, noh and basanta—dM 
connected at intervals by vertical bands, decorated with 
creepers The first, third and fifth mouldings bear 
scroll-work and creepers While the lower noli is 
carved with lotus-petals and a central beaded band, 
the upper presents curved beaded bands and creepers 

Upper jamgha of the kanika and anuratha — 
The layout of the upper jdngba is similar to that of the 
lower, but here pidd-numdis have taken the place 
of the khdkhard-mundis and almost hfe-size erotic 
figures Cpl IX) have replaced the Mrdlas Among 
the erotic figures feature some black sheep among 
ascetics, they could not give up their lust despite their 
having taken to the hermit’s robe (pi IX B) The 
niches of the pidd mundts are all vacant Eight of them 
probably held the laktis (female counterparts) of the 
dikpalas On either side of the amalaka of the pida-mundt 
j s a > akslia m the attitude of supporting superstructure 

Varanda — It IS made of ten mouldings (i) 
khura shaped \arant with a creeper at the muhanti 
and lotus-petals on the body, (ii ) phem resembling up- 
turned petals, (ill) noU relieved with fbliated leaves, 
(iv) khurd with a row of geese at the muhanti^ (v) patd 
with a frieze of animals withm a beaded border, (vi) 
noh with foliated leaves or lotus petals and a central 
beaded line, (vii) and (vui)pa/ni' with friezes of animals 
within beaded borders, (ix) noh either with lotus- 
petals and a central beaded band or with foliated 
leaves , and (x) basanta carved with elephants with 
or wiiAout riders, foot-sofdiers, etc 

Raha — ^The side faces of the rdhd maintain the 
fivefold divisions of the other parts of the hdda In the 
pSbhdga are two elaborate kUdkhard mundts, the outer 


55 



KONARAK 


one carved against a raised background with reliefs of 
creepers, beaded lines and foliated leaves, and a tri- 
ratha pilaster between the usual pabhaga-mo\x\dm%% 
The face of the pilaster is treated with beaded lines 
and scrolls, the central one elaborate with foliated 
leaves between the scrolls and having animals 
and beaded lines withm the foils In the recess of the 
lower janghOi in one alignment with the inner khakhara- 
mimdi of the pabhaga, is a virala (carrying a rider) 
trampling on a prostrate elephant (also with a rider), 
while above the outer khakhar&mundi of the pabhaga 
IS a second khakharQ-mmdi with a niche The corres- 
pondingplacesoftheupper jangha, above the bandhana- 
mouldings, have erotic or amorous couples (pi X) 
and a \ajra-nnmdi with a niche, now empty The 
mouldings of the varatida do not run beyond the re- 
cess containing the erotic or amorous couples, and we 
have in this place a succession of chhajja, honeycombed 
recess, pn/d-like projection with an elephant-frieze and 
two pilasters in continuation of the front face above 
the architrave The outer pilaster is relieved with a 
lion (with a rider) rampant on an elephant, while the 
inner pilaster, tri-ratha on plan, has a set of three 
mouldings below and above, the shaft being carved 
with creepers, foliated leaves and beaded lines Above 
these pilasters is the continuation of the last moulding 
of the \aranda, relieved with elephants 

The veneer-stones of the front face of the rahds, 
into the thickness of which is provided the passage 
leading to the chlorite door-frame, have disappeared, 
except in a small section at the base and at the top 
on the north side These three facades were conceived 
rn the form of a (arana with a maiCifoil arch springing 
from two impressive pilasters, one each at either side 
of the passsage The pilasters had at the base a set 
of five mouldmgs, of which the bottom khurd and 


56 



THE MONUMENTS 


kumbha, smaller in hei^t than the first and second 
mouldings of the pabhaga of the main body, are parti- 
ally preserved. Over the fluted shaft of each pilaster 
was a set of mouldings (possibly numbering ten) 
capped by a capital consisting of a succession oXkhura 
and two inverted khuras relieved with petals. The 
top of the last was most probably in one horizontal 
level with that of the architrave which projects forward 
from the top of the lintel of the door-frame. From the 
capitals of the two pilasters of each face rose a lavishly- 
carvedmultifoilarch(p. 58), whichrestedagainstcorbels. 

Supported by iron beams, the architraves were of 
chlorite and had their front faces sculptured. Despite 
its chequered career, the eastern one, originally a mono- 
lith, is still at Konarak, The whereabouts of the other 
two are imknown. The front halF (6T46m. lon|, 
1T43 m. high and 53 cm. thick) of the eastern archi- 
trave, which was sliced into two (p. 16), is now in a 
shed erected outside the enclosure at its north-east 
comer. It is relieved with nine grahas (pis. XU and 
Xm), each under the multifoil arch of a tiered pavilion. 
The graha on the extreme dexter is Surya (Sun), 
richly bejewelled and seated cross-legged, with the 
stalk of a lotus in each hand. Next are Chandra 
(Moon), Mangala (Mars), Budha (Mercury), pot- 
bellied bearded Brihaspati (Jupiter), Sukra (Venus) 
and §ani (Saturn), all seated cross-legged on a lotus, 
carrying in the left hand a water-pot and in the right a 
rosary. The fierce-looking Rahu (ascending node), 
with the upper half alone depicted, bears in both hands 
a crescent each, while Ketu (descending node) holds a 
bowl of flames in the left hand and a sword or staff 
in the right. The pacification of the planets {graha- 
ianti) is prescribed m Hindu astrologyto ward off evil. 
Above the architect is a projecting c/i/iayd-like member, 

* The maximum thickness of the rear slice is 96’5 cm. 


57 



KONARAK 


tri ratha on plan, which is preserved alone on the north 
side Its faijade is embellished with a frieze of ele- 
phants within a beaded border Separated from this 
member by a honeycombed recess, there is a tri-ratha 
moulding relieved with elephants Above this, in the 
central part, is the carved frame of an oblong niche, 
the latter having originally a seated image of 
Surya ‘ On either side of this niche are two 
pilasters decorated with creepers, scroll-work, beaded 
lines and floral motifs Beyond them and partially 
covering the two outer pilasters are plain stone courses, 
their inner sides corbelled These rise above the 
c/i/wy/alike member and end below the lowest pidd 
(p 61) of the gapd/ Against these courses and 
also the plain ends of the chhajjd rested the missing 
multifoil arch (p 57), which acted as an arched 
frame for the image of the niche and the pilasters 
On the outer sides of these corbelled courses are again 
pilasters crowned by a band relieved with elephants 
The Jour inner pilasters (two each on either side) are 
relieved with scroll-work and creepers, while the two 
outermost are distinguished by a Mrala (ridden by an 
armed warrior) rampant on an elephant 

Door-frame —Of the door-frames, the eastern one 
(pi XI) IS the best preserved, but for a small missing 
section near the base, it is also complete The parti- 
ally preserved northern one is still in position The 
southern door, now blocked up, is completely stripped 
of its frame, but a portion of its lintel was found near 
the eastern staircase Made of chlorite, these luxuri- 
antly carved frames are almost alike both in composi- 
tion and execution The following description of the 
eastern one, thus, applies to the others as well 

* That the image represented SQrya is clear in the drawing of 
the eastern door frame, accompanying Stirling s account of Orissa 


58 









Temple 1 porch and ^reck of sanctuary before rcnair See 


PLATE m 



A Temple J eastern raha of porch and door B Temple 1 lion on elephant, as illustrated 

frame, as illustrated by A Stirlug Seep 13 by C Mackenzie Seep 79 


PLATE 







PLATE V 



Temple 1 parch and portion oj sanctuary See p 38 




PLATE VI 



1 






PLATE VI 





PLATE VII 




Temple 1, porch front stde See p SO 




PLATE IX 




PLATE X 



Temple J, porch : amorous couple. See p. 56 




PLATE XI 



Temple I, porch ; eastern door-Jrame, See p 58 



PLATE XII 



Temple 2, porch, nava-graha architrave : Ravi, Soma and Mahgala. See p. 57 



PLATE XIII 






PLATE XV 




PLATE XVlIl 



A. Teivple I, platform of sanctum sanclonim : ro)al \tsit 
on the occasion of consecration See p 74 





PLATE XVI 





plate XVIII 




PLATE XrX 



Temple 1 enraged elephant See p 79 




PLATE XX 




PLATE XXI 





PLATE XXII 



Temple 1, bhoga mandapa general i/cu See p 81 


PLATE XXin 



Temple 1, berm of bhoga-mandapa : opulence of decoration and carnival of life. See p. 82 



THE MONUMENTS 


Each jamb is divided into eight facets, all on differ- 
ent planes, the innermost being the most receding 
and the outermost the most projected At the base of 
the seven facets beginning with the innermost arc 
figures, all standing under a tree below a roof with a 
\ajra mimdi~ti demomsh figure on the innermost, 
a standing fulga with a gfiafa m the left hand on the 
second, a graceful female on the third, two kmnaras 
(half human and half animal), one above the other, 
the upper one playing on cymbals and the lower one 
on a flute on the fourth, a female on the fifth, a male 
on the sixth and a man with two cows on the seventh 
Below the lotus stand is a set of three carved mouldings 
The remaining portions of these facets bear the follow- 
ing reliefs (i) foliated leaves withm a beaded border 
(first or innermost facet), (ii) the double coil of a 
hooded nSga couple (second), (m) a vertical succes- 
sion of miniature pavilions with ^aJra^mlmdls contain- 
ing figures, all erotic or amorous except one (a yaksha 
m the attitude of supporting the superstructure) on the 
southern jamb (third), (iv) a motif, known in Oriya as 
gelabdi, dSlimSnkudi or mamishya KaiitukT, in which 
fmlickmg boys are shown on a meandering creeper 
(fourth), (v) a vertical senes of dwarf pilasters embelli- 
shed With mouldings, ornate medallions and beaded 
tassels issuing from the mouths of klrti mukhas (fifth), 
(vi) a succession of pavilions with erotic or amorous 
figures as on the third (sixth), and (vn) sapw la, a motif 
containing fruits like pineapples amidst clusters of 
palm like leaves (seventh) Of the naga couple on the 
second facet, the human bust of the naga with a bowl 
of offerings is carved above the base, but that of the 
nagi IS shown by the side of the central inset of the 
Imtel In the eighth facet is a succession of lotus- 
petals besides a creeper with a beaded mper border at 
the extreme end 


59 



KONARAK 


The motif of the eighth facet and those on the upper 
parts of the first, second and seventh facets run on the 
corresponding facets of the lintel as well. On the 
third facet of the lintel are seated divine female musi- 
cians, each within a compartment made by pilasters. 
Ihe fourth contains a row of flying vidyadhara couples 
(one perched on the thigh of the other) with socked 
legs, carrying variously floral offerings, musical instru- 
ments, ghataSy incense-burners, chamaras, garlands, 
a conch, a lamp, etc. In the fifth are dancers and musi- 
cians separated by pilasters, while the sixth contains 
seated musicians within compartments made by pilas- 
ters. The motifs on the facets, except the topmost, 
stop at the central part of the lintel which is slightly 
projected and divided into a vertical succession of 
niches. In the lowest niche is the lustration of Lakshm! 
flanked by a chamara-b^SiKX on either side. With her 
right hand in varada-ntudra (boon-conferring pose 
of the hand) and the stalk of a lotus in the left hand, 
the goddess of plenty is being bathed by a pair of 
elephants, each on a lotus. The next five niches 
contain each a bearded preacher-like figure with 
matted hair, seated cross-legged with hands in mudras. 
These ascetics are attended by two disciples. The 
seventh depicts a seated bearded figure in meditation 
inside a torana, the latter flanked by the head of a 
makara on either side. The lintel is supported by two 
heavy iron beams of oblong section. 

The door-sill is now missing. It is not known if its 
facade simulated a moon-stone flanked on either side 
by a semi-circle as in the case of the sill of the sanctum 
(p. Tl). In continuation of the sill is a set of two 
chlorite mouldings, which project foi^vard from the 
base of the jambs. A fragment of this may still be 
seen near the southern extremity of the south jamb. 
Pivided into pa^q^, both the mouldings— the lower 

60 



THE MONU^^ENTS 


noil and the upper band-like basanta — are relieved 
With foliated leaves, but of a different design, the upper 
moulding having further a beaded border To pre- 
sume from the door-frame of the sanctum sanctorum, 
the drawing (pi III A) of Stirling and an early 
photograph (pi XI) of the door-frame, there was a 
projecteo slab coming forward from the bottom of the 
noh The facade of this slab, which was possibly of 
chlorite, was relieved with a recumbent lion at either 
end The design of the central part as seen m the 
drawing of Stirling differs from the corresponding part 
of the slab belonging to the door-frame of the sanctum 
The latter projects forward m the form of a paiicha- 
ratha — the rahd relieved with a pot-bellied dwarf in 
the attitude of supporting superstructure, the am/ra- 
thas With foliated leaves and the kamkas with creepers 

Gandi— T he gandiy approaching the shape of a 
stej^d pyramid, truncated near the top, is m three 
gradually receding tiers (potalas), each tier separated 
from the other by a prominently-recessed vertical wall, 
known as kdntJu In the bottom and the middle tiers 
there are six gradually receding ptdds and in the top 
five, each pidd spaced from the other by a narrow 
recess The pidds, with a subdued cyma reversa curve 
on the upper part, have at intervals tiny vertical pro- 
jections (called tankiis) m the form of either a semi- 
circle or the quadrant of a circle The plain surface 
of the pidds and recesses were originally covered with a 
plaster of lime and sand These tiers also maintain 
the five ratha divisions, the rdhds in each tier having, 
in the^ upper half, an assemblage of a beki, irf or 
gbantd (supported by a lion), amid and khapiin-^ths 
lower comiionents of the mastaka of a pidd deitl The 
total number of ghanids is thus thirteen including the 
crowning one 


61 



KONARAK 


TIic vertical faces of the bottom and second tiers 
present minutcly<arvcd friezes depicting processions, 
in which elephants and the army— infantry, cavalry 
and elephants— along with men, beast of burden and 
carts carrying military supplies, form the most con- 
spicuous themes The recessed part below the vertical 
muhanfi of the pi^ds of the lower two po(alasha% a row 
of pendants, while m the (dnkus is a variety of motifs 
including figures, human, animal and mythological 

The kanthis^ above the first and second tiers are 
relieved with khukbara-mundts, kauySs and pilasters, 
the recesses between them having honeycomb pattern 
Some of the pilasters, arc entwined by graceful nagas 
or ndgis^ others capped by the upper part of the 
khdkhard mifi^is and still others crowned by the 
upturned lotus-petals In the bottom kunffn there arc 
sixteen k<ni)ds, each fashioned near the junction of 
the ratlias Gracefully poised, some with sandals, 
over a flower and below a tree, they are variously 
engaged in adjusting their ornaments, fondling a child, 
touching a tree, winging wet hair and allowing a pet 
bird to drink the drops of water falling from her hair, 
carrying a bunch of fruit, playing on a w7w and dis- 
playing her fully-bloomed figure, sometimes with the 
arms raised and joined over head in an alluring pos- 
ture Tlicse figures, by their very actions and suggestive 
flexions, express the sentiments that animate them 
Above the decorative architectural motifs and the 
kanyds is a running frieze, the theme of which is a 
procession, of elephants in the forest, very rarely dis- 
turbed by a man or a hon 

The terrace over the bottom and tlie middle tiers 
IS occupied by large (some life-sized and others some- 
what over life-size) figures, sculptured m the round— 

* The raha of the Kanfhi above the bottom tier had ongmally a 
nich-, which contJitq?d Sn image, pilasters and khSkhara nutn^is 


62 



THE MONUMENTS 


a scheme unique in conception in Onssan temples 
Above the raha of the bottom tier, at either end, is a 
SIX armed four-headed life-sized Bhairava (pi XIV A) 
with an awe-inspinng facial expression, open mouth 
with teeth displayed, a garland of chopped heads and 
flaming hair Dancing in ecstasy on a boat, he carries 
in his left hands a mace, a khatvanga tipped with a 
skull and a kettle-drum and in the right a skull-cup, 
a trident and a wheel 

In contrast with these gnm-looking figures are the 
slightly more than life sized female musicians (pis XV 
and XVI), in the prime of their exuberant youth, play- 
ing with full confidence and delight On the terraces 
above the bottom and the middle tiers each are sixteen 
such figures, one each above the amiratha and the 
kamka These boldly-carved vivacious but dignified 
celestial choristers with their pliable plasticity and 
dynamic sweep create an unforgettable phantasy m 
stone The instruments of this orchestra are various 
Thus, there are not less than three kinds of drums, 
carved exquisitely (i) barrel-shaped double-faced long- 
ish dholak, (ii) pakhodj with graphically delineated 
leather-braces and wooden blocks for producing the 
desired intonation and (iii) longish cylindrical drum 
played by sticks (pi XVI B) Besides the drums and 
small cymbals (pi XV B), there are long pipes 
{shahndl or ndgujinra/n, pi XVI A), deafening 
karatdlas (large metallic cymbals fastened with strings, 
pi XV A) and melodious \mas Except the player on 
who stands with a graceful poise and seremty 
of expression, fully absorbed in the rhythm of music, 
all are animated under the spell of melodious music 
which turns their physical movements into enchanting 
dances m harmony with the musical measures The 
rhythmic actions of the limbs and the delicately-tilted 
heads of some of these graceful beauties are unsurpassed 


63 



KONARAK 


Traces of the original brick-red colour are yet visible 
on some figures Over this colour there is a pmkish 
lime plaster, evidently added at a later date 

Mastaka — ^The mastaka consists of a beki with 
two projected bands, a bell-shaped member {sri or 
ghanta\ a second beki with two projected bands, amla 
and kJioptin, the crowning kalasa being missmg The 
sn IS divided into two parts by a central band, each 
part relieved with a row of long petals It is 
supported by eight lions, of which four facing the inter- 
mediate directions have two hmder parts Eight 
figures seated on their haunches and with their hands 
resting on the ground, support the amla on their backs 

Interior —The interior of the porch, now inacces- 
sible (p 19), is reported to have been plain but plastered 
A simple moulding is said to have run all round the 
walls at a height of about 1 52 m Over the ceilmgs of 
the passages leading into the floor are corbelled 
recesses These ceilings are supported by three iron 
beams ‘The room, which was a square 60' (18 288 m ) 
X 60' (18 288ra )’, says Bishan Swarup, ‘was divided 
into a nave and two aisles by means of four pillars, 
which supported a ceiling on solid iron beams 
In what way this ceiling was supported is not 
known, as the whole thmg fell down m 1848, and 
nothing of it was left when the porch was filled 
up m 1904 According to Fergusson, however, ‘the 
roof IS formed after the usual bracket fashion of the 
Hindus, each course projecting beyond the other so 
as to give the appearance of inverted stairs, the angles 
of each, however, are here rounded off*which considera- 
bly improves the effect At about half the height. 


^ Bishan Swarup, o/j fi/,p 23 
64 


THE monuments 


where its dimensions narrow to about twenty feet 
(6*096 m.). a false roof has been thrown across, the 
remains of which now lie heaped up as they fell on the 
floor of the apartment: among them may still be 
remarked several beams of wrought iron, about twenty- 
one feet in length and eight inches’ section, and a great 
many blocks of stone, fifteen and sixteen feet long 
(and they were probably broken in their fall), and 
of a section of six feet by two or three. When in 
situ it is by no means improbable that they extended 
the whole length across.*^ 

The sanctuary (deiil) 

The entire gandi along with the upper part of the 
bada of the sanctuary caved in long ago. Yet, one can 
visualizethe form of the sanctuary, when entire, from 
the extant fallen fragments and the contemporary but 
shorter temples cf Yamesvara and Ananta-Vasudeva of 
Bhubaneswar. As in the porch, its bdda, which is 
pahcha-ratha on plan, had fivefold vertical divisions, 
of which the vararida has completely disappeared. 

PiSHTA.— Consisting of two mouldings, it is similar 
to that of the porch (p. 51). The decoration on the 
upper moulding of the side faces of the rdhas alone is 
different.^ These particular faces are distinguished 
by the friezes of animals portrayed in a masterly way. 
Particularly remarkable are the life-like boar and the 
herd of deer on the east face of the south rdhd. 

Pabhaga. — The pdbhaga consists of five mould- 
ings, khiira, kumbha,' pafd^ kani and bashnta, similar 
to those of the pdbJwga of the porch, though on a much 

^ Fergusson, op. cu., p 28. 

• The plain surface of the kumbha preserves large patches of 
plaster painted on the top in chocolate-red. 


65 



KONARAK 


larger scale Unlike those of the porch, these mould- 
ings are continuous, undisturbed by the intrusion of 
pilasters and khakbara-mundis This arrangement 
has imparted to the sanctuary a solid dignified appea- 
rance The surface-treatment of the mouldings is 
also analogous except tliat the central facets of the 
khuras have pillared pavilions capped by \ajra-nnmdis 
The themes of the niches inside the pavilions, with a 
single exception where a prcacher-likc figure is seen 
seated in meditation, centre round the life of a king m 
the palace, in court or m the field Thus, in one an 
armed king is seen fondly looking at his reflection m 
a mirror, m another he is generously distributing 
largess to the supplicants, in a third he is discoursing 
before an assemblage, m a fourth he is attentively 
going through a manuscript or charter amidst an as- 
semblage, m a fifth he is proceeding, fully armed, on 
foot with umbrella-bearers; in a sixth he is depicted as 
a horseman, and m a seventh, curiously enough, he 
looks like brushing hts teeth in the presence of his 
attendants 

The front faces of the rabas arc covered partly by 
the double stairleadingtothepariia de\atQs (pp 69-71) 
provided in the lower jdngba and partly by the cells 
(p 72) below the porches m front of the 

Lower jangha —Both the kamka and the anih 
ratha of the lower jdngha have each a khakhard intmdh 
on either side of the latter of which are two facets 
relieved with scroll-work and creepers In the niches of 
the kbdkbard mundis were chlorite sculptures, none of 
them now in situ Eight of these were dikpdlas placed in 
tlie quarters over which they preside m the kanika Three 
of them — Agni, Yama and Nimti — are now in the 
Museum, while the fourth, I5ana, has been removed 
to the National Museum, New Delhi An idea about 


66 



THE MONUMENTS 


the subject of the sculptures, which embellished the 
niches of the amirathas and also some of the niches 
of the piijS-nmndis of the anuralhas of the upper jdngha, 
may be had from the chlorite sculptures that werefound 
in 1906 07 m course of the clearance of debris 
around the sanctuary The themes of these sculp- 
tures are (i) one (Bhaga or Vivasvat) of the Adityas, 
(ii) worship of Jagannatha, Maltisliasuramardim and 
Imga (two sculptures), (in) a marriage scene,' (iv) King 
Narasimha in the company of priestly figures 
(three sculptures), fv) King Narasimha on a swing, 
(vi) King Narasimha practising archcry (pi XIV 
B), and (vii) a teacher discoursing to his pupils Four 
of these sculptures— depicting an archery-scene, the 
king on a swing, the king with priests and worship of 
three deities — are now m the National Museum 

As in the porch, lions-on elephants occupy 
the recesses between the Kamka and the amiratlia, while 
the corresponding places between the aniirallia and the 
rciliS have composite animals, with the head either of 
a demon or of an elephant and the body of a lion, 
rampant on an armed demomsh figure 

Bandhana —A shred of the bSndhaim is preserved 
near the south-eastern comer Unlike that of the 
porch, it consisted of three mouldings— k/mra with 
a creeper at the muhanti and lotus-petals on the body, 
noh with a foliated pattern and A Aiird-shaped basanra 
with lotus-petals 

' The existence of monkeys on Ihe plinth just below the 
wedding scene may indicate that the marriage of Rama and Sita 
IS depicted here At the same time, it may be recalled that the 
name of the queen of Narasiifiha was Slt5 so that here may be a 
veiled reference to the wedding of Narasirfiha himself The 
sculpture, to presume from its size, which is larger than that of 
others of this group, embellished a niche other than that of the 
amiralha 


67 



KONARAK 


Upper jangha —Only a fragment of the upper 
jangha is preserved on the southern flank of the eastern 
side Here a large kanvuy wringing water from her 
hair, IS seen standing in the recess between the anuratha 
and the kamka in one plumb with the lion on elephant 
of the lower jangha All the recesses between the 
rathas^ no doubt, contained such large kanjds in various 
roles Three of these kanyuSy one playing on a Mna 
and the second on cymbals (?), are now in the Museum 
A fourth lies on the floor of Structure 2 (p 103) The 
upper part of a fifth is now in the National Museum 

Though there are no other facing stones, except a 
few by the side of the kanyd, in situ, it may be presum- 
ed on the analogy of the other contemporary Orissan 
deuls that there were pujid numdis on the kamka and 
the anuratha of the upper jangha The niches of these 
contained chlorite sculptures Eight of the latter, 
which were in the kamka, must have been the female 
counterparts (iaUis) of the Mpalas, seated m their 
proper directions All these saktts have disappeared 
except Varum, now displayed in the National Museum 

Varanda — Over the upper jangha was the \aranda, 
which most probably had a set of ten mouldings 

Gandi — The curvilinear gandi, to presume from 
the contemporary specimens, had five richly-carved 
pagas on each of the four faces, the kamka having 
bhumhamlds, which marked the bhunus, and anuratha 
a succession of miniature rekhas From each rdhd 
projected the figure of a lion, of which the eastern 
one rampant on an elephant, the largest of the four, 
now lies on the ground, a few metres to the north- 
east of the sanctuary This colossal lion on elephant 
(5 69 m high), which is now in three pieces, was origi- 
nally made of two blocks The animals of the south 
and west sides (the western one reduced to fragments) 


68 



THE MONUMENTS 


also rest in the courtyard respectively near the south 
side and the north-western comer of (he sanctuary 

Mastaka — Over the gattdi were the crowning 
elements consisting of a beki, anila, khapun, kalaSa 
and (he finial, the last m the semblance of a lotus 
The midd was supported by large figures, of which four, 
perched on the tops of the rahas, represented four-armed 
figures seated cross-legged Two fragments of two 
such figures, have been assembled into one and kept 
near the north-eastern corner of the platform of the 
sanctuary Tlie lower hands of this figure rest on the 
lap in meditative pose, while (he upper left and possi- 
bly the upper right carry the stalk of a lotus One of 
these figures, a nearly complete one, is displayed in 
the Indian Museum, Calcutta It represents one of the 
Adityas (Bhaga or Vivasvat) with lotuses m upper 
hands and a trident m the lower right 

ParSva-devatas —The three rShas of the lower 
jdngha contain the images of pars\a'de\atSs The 
frames, which housed the latter, have long dis- 
appeared The walls and roof around them 
are thus all modem Made of chlorite, all (he 
parha-de\atas, representing Surya, are rather stiff in 
conformity with the canonical convention regarding 
hieratic deities But these sculptures, with their benign 
and majestic bearing, are superb specimens of the icono- 
graphic art The minute details of the ornaments and 
decorated drapery are rendered with consummate 
skill The sculptures are further noted for their elaborate 
composition, crowded with accessory figures 

The more than life sized image of Siirya (pi XVII 
A) in the southern niche stands majestically on a sapta- 
ratha chariot drawn by seven horses— Aruna, the 
charioteer, busy with the lash and rein, being shown 
down to the waist The prmcipal figure, with a face 


69 



KONARAK 


beaming witK compassion, is in the round Draped 
m a short dhoti and with feet covered by long boots, 
the sole remnant of the ttdichya-^esa (northern dress 
prescribed for SuryaJ, the figure is decked in a gird/e, 
a ratnopavita, a necklace with five beaded strings held 
by a central clasp, two kinds of short haras^ a neck- 
ornament, armlets, ear-rmgs and a short crown, all 
richly embellished Both the hands carry the stalks 
of fully blossomed lotuses, the characteristic attributes 
of Surya The arrangement of the coiffure in the form 
of a small stiipi shaped bun on the crown of the head 
is rather curious Axound the head is a carved four- 
foil halo with tongues of flames at the outer edge 
At the crown of the halo is a kirti-muUia flanked on 
either side by a flying figure blowing a conch, while 
around the edges are ten divine dancers, including two 
kmnarasy all playing on musical instruments At the 
extreme top comers is a Mdyadhara couple Above 
the two pancha-ratha pedestals, on the inner ends of 
which rests the halo, are two four-armed deities, the 
dexter one representmg the four-headed (three visible) 
beared pot-bellied Brahma with matted hair, carrying 
a knmn/idalw (spouted water-pot with a handle), tndanda 
(three forked stick), sruk (sacrificial ladle) and rosary 
The figure (Vishnu*’) on the sinister pedestal carries 
in the right hands a mace and a lotus, the attributes 
in the left broken Below these two figures are four 
standing females, two each on either side of Surya, 
carrying variantly a c/iamora, offering on a dish on-stand 
and a lotus Possibly they represent the four wives of 
Surya, viz Rajni, Nikshubha, Chhaya andSuvarchasa 
Near the right foot of Surya is the royal donor with 
folded hands, his sword kept flat on the ratha The 
kneeling figure near the left foot wears a tdaka (sacred 
mark) on the forehead and evidently represents the 
family-priest of the king The bearded Dandi and 


70 



THE MONUMENTS 


bearded and pot bellied Pmgala, the two attendants 
of Surya, stand respectively beyond the king and the 
priest Beyond both Dandi and Pmgala IS a khaUiara 
niimdiy each containing a warrior, armed with a 
shield and sword, while at the extreme ends are two 
females, Usha and Pratyusha, dispelling darkness 
by shooting arrows The chariot has m its uppermost 
facet dancers, most of them playing on musical instru- 
ments as well The entire sculpture (3 38 ra 
high, 1 80 m wide and 7! cm thick), made of a single 
piece, IS installed on a €diloritc pancha ratha pedestal, 
the latter relieved wth three richly carved mouldings, 
mmely, khuroy noli and basanta 

The sculpture (3 45 m high, 1 78 m wide and 
76 cm thick) in the western niche is similar m all 
essentialdetailstothe one m the southern, except that 
here S0r>a wears a ulaka on the forehead and a 
nchly-cmbellished high crown Further, the dancers 
on the chariot are all women 

The arrangement of subsidiary figures m the sculp- 
ture (3 58 m high and 1 73 m wide) of the northern 
niche IS roughly the same as m the other nvo sculp 
tures, but here the king, with a sword and chamara 
in hands, and the priest are both standing, looking 
towards the lord of the sky, as the latter is spanmng 
the honzon on a spirited horse Lavishly bejewelled, 
Bhaskara’ here also wears a high crown and a tilaka 

Porches in front of the parsva-devatas — ^All 
the parha de\atas are honoured with a porch m front 
of each There was a narrow strip of landing bet- 
ween the niche containing the pars^a de\atd and the 
porch The latter has disappeared in all cases, leav- 
ing barely the floor, which now stretches as a terrace 

^ Aiha'v=asva samSrudluih kayo ekas^lti Bbaskarah (Agm 
Purana ch 51) 


71 



KOHARAK 


in front of the deity On the analogy of the contem- 
porary Ananta-Vasudeva temple of Bhubaneswar, 
It may be presumed that these porches were full-fledged 
pidd deiils, with central openings on all sides They, 
unlike those of the Lirigaraja temple of Bhubaneswar, 
were integral parts of one unified scheme 

Below the floor of these porches and the niches 
of the pdri\a'dc\atds was accommodated a complex 
of two oblong cells, of which those on the south and 
west sides were designed as a subsidiary sanctum and 
a front porch The walls of the porch of the west side 
and the outer cell of the north side arc now extinct 
The south complex, erected over the mam berm, 
IS the best preserved of the three The body of the 
entire complex rests on a p/sJt/a, simdar in design to 
that of the mam porch It is pancha ratha on plan 
on three sides, the three rShas providing tlic door- 
openings of the porch It has the usual five vertical 
divisions As in the berm, its pabhdga consists of 
five mouldings— carved kimra, plain Kumbha, decora- 
ted paid, plain Kant and carved basanta, all connected 
by carved bands In the lower jdngha are khdkhard- 
mitndis and pilasters with either a Aon; a or erotic figu- 
res, the recesses having lions-on*elephants The niches 
of the Khdkhard-mundis variously contain erotic figu- 
res, hunting scenes and a king looking at an object 
In the bdndhand are three mouldings similar to those 
of the berm Over the upper jdngha, roughly analo- 
gous to the lower, is the yaranda, of which a projected 
moulding in two planes is extant at places The lower, 
which is recessed, is decorated with a frieze of elephants 
and the upper with flowers and creepers The facing 
stones above this are missing 

The inner cell served as the sanctum Against its 
back wall is a khakhard-mun^t, crowned by a ghata, 
the latter with a lion-on-elephant on either side, The 


n 



THE MONUMENTS 


niche (68 5 cm high, 33 5 cm wide and 19 cm deep) 
for the deity is now empty The frame around the 
niche IS carved with a creeper, the central piece on the 
lintel being the lustration of Lakshm! The ceilmg 
IS spanned by corbels, the latter, some in the form of 
inverted khuras, projecting inward from the longer 
side walls The faceted frame around the door, which 
communicates the sanctum with the porch, is relieved 
With creepers and scrolls besides the lustration of 
Lakshmi m the centre of the lintel and a door-keeper 
leaning on his staff at the bases of the jambs Over 
the lintel is a projected architrave bearing na\a-grahas 
and two yakshas, the latter at the ends This archi- 
trave is supported by two pilasters carved with scrolls, 
often with animals within, and is shaded by a chhajja, 
the vertical face of the latter embellished with a creeper 
The porch has three passages leading to the doors, 
facing cardinal directions Its ceiling, now missing, 
was spanned by corbels The door-frames are relie- 
ved With scroll-work and foliated leaves 

The extant portion ofthc western complex is similar 
to the southern Gaja-Lakshmi, however, is wanting 
on the lintel of the niche (63 5 cm high, 35 5 cm wide 
and 14 cm deep) of the khakhard mimdi against the 
back wall of the sanctum 

The inner room of the northern complex was not 
used as a sanctum, as the dram, coming from the 
sanctum sanctorum of the sanctuary, pierces its back 
wall and passes through its floor and also that of 
the outer room The layout of the exterior face of 
the inner room is similar to that of the southern and 
western sanctums In the extant niches of the khakhara- 
nwndis of the lower jdngha occur a king amidst 
his follouers, Kfishna lifting Govardhana hill, a 
king hunting a boar and a cavalier m the company 
of an armed foot-soldier 


73 



KONARAK 


Sanctum sanctorum. — A modern flight oi steps, 
edging the northern face of the niche containing the 
western pdrSva-devatat now leads to the top of the 
extant western wall of the sanctum sanctorum. A 
second flight, also a modem provision, at the north- 
western corner of this wall, descends do^vn to the 
floor of the sanctum (10 m. square), the approach 
to which was originally through the porch. The 
walls of the sanctum are of ashlar-masonry, austerely 
plain except for a set -of three uncarved mouldings 
at a height, varying from 1’40 m. to 1-83 m. 
above the floor. The latter, paved with chlorite slabs, 
slopes towards the middle portion of the northern 
wall, in which there is a channel to drain off the 
washings. Patches of plaster, which originally covered 
the walls, still linger at places. 

Located in the middle of the western side of the 
room, the lavishly-carved chlorite platform (pi. XVIII 
A), which sustained the pedestal of the presiding deity, 
is one of the most magnificent of its kind. Built on 
a low wpdrta, which is paiicha-ratha on three sides 
and is relieved with a freize of elephants, it has three 
divisions. The lowest division, poncha-ratha in front, 
is composedof three carved mouldings — khurd, noli and 
and basanta. In the central part of the khnrd and 
noli of the rahd is an oblong inset depicting an elephant- 
driver tenderly feeding a royal elephant. The 
latter possibly represents the one which brought 
the king (depicted above) to the temple on the occa- 
sion of its ceremonial consecration. 

The recessed middle division, which has a lion- 
on-elephant at either extremity, is divided into pavi- 
lions by pilasters. The lowest moulding of the upper 
division serves as the roof of these compartmented 
pavilions. Inside the central pavilion is a kneeling 
moustached king, evidently the donor of the temple, 


74 



the monuments 

with folded hands and with a sword, 

Toval insignia, held in his ann-pit, in the company 
0 / seven priests, of which the chief is seated irame- 
l?ely Vfront of him. One of the standing prmsts 
is seen garlanding him, while another, s^ted behind 
him, carries a manuscript or a chartet- All the tace 
are lit with contentment and 

amiratha compartment contains in a.rnythmic com 
position the kneeling queen among of her atten 
dants, the latter standmg and carrying vario^ly 
fly-whisks (cMmaras), abqwl, aknapsack and the 1^. 
The compartment to its sinister and also 
partments on the north fa“‘na“'y>* ^r^^XTs 
ers of the queen, some with folded hands and othem 
holding objects like cUaimra, ghata (™t p ), 
of o#erings, knapsack, viiid, entail cymbals ana 
the pet bird. The remaining '““partments on 
the dexter flank of the east face and all the compart 

kkg!'sol?wlthfouMs!o^^^^^^ 
SmSfcri^t Sdmsses "display considerable 

"'"TS'e upper division consists of tinea “oultogs- 
tlmra-shaped varani with a creeper at th Intus- 
plain kali and basa,Ua the ast -hev^trSiitoi 
petals and creepers. In the recess uci 
and the basanta are pilasters, yabshas an i.gntral 
lotus-petals of the topmost moulding of the central 
projection of the front face are ad^aad, .(vhen 

able extent due to the touch of the d -latform 
the temple was in use. On the top of the platloro 
near the eastern edge are round depressions, neriods 
caused by the friction of pots for considerable perioos 

Against the south face of the 
of stips for access to the top. On this plattorra 



KONARAK 


rests a monolithic chlorite pedestal It has a projected 
khurd-shaptd moulding at the base On the top is 
a concave chase for draining out the ritualistic 
water into a channel, which projects from its north 
face 

The pedestal was found empty even at the time of 
the clearance of the debris fallen inside the sanctum 
The image had been removed, according to ihs Madald- 
-pdnji noted above (p 9 ), to the precincts of the 
temple of Jagannatha In the Virinchi temple within 
the enclosure of that complex is in worship a small 
image of Surya (called Vinnchi) claimed by the priests 
as hailing from Konarak Hidden behind this image 
IS a chlorite sculpture, I 83 m high and 91 5 cm 
wide, Its lower portion, together with the front part 
of the feet of the central figure, is covered by the for- 
mer The back portion of the mam figure is cut out 
but roughly finished Draped in a plain dhoth held 
by a girdle of five strings, of which the central one has 
a middle band of diamonds and the rest are cable- 
shaped, and decked m a ratnopavita of three beaded 
strmgs and oblique beaded pendants, a necklace of 
similar pattern but with six beaded strings held by a 
central clasp, a small beaded hdra^ ornate armlets, 
a long garland of champaka flowers, kundalas and a 
richly embellished high mukiita with a stupi shaped 
member at the crown, the deity seems to have been 
seated cross-legged Both the forearms with attri- 
butes, if any, are broken Around the head is a tre- 
foil arch with tongues of flames at the outer edge 
In its top centre is a kirti mtikha, while at the top is 
an umbrella This arch springs from two makaras, 
each perched on a pedestal of three mouldings Above 
the makaras are celestial females On the dexter side 
there are four standing figures in two vertical rows, 
the smallest of them carries a chdmara, while the 


76 



THE MONUMENTS 


figure by its side possibly plays on a drum. The attri- 
butes in the hands of the upper figures are broken. 
On the sinister side are three figures, the attributes 
in their hands, too, missing. On either side of the 
main figure is a female c/wmcrc-bearer. At the 
slightly rounded top comers of the oblong back slab 
is a yulyadhara couple, with a garland in hand and 
flying through clouds. 

Though the workmanship and the facial expres- 
sion of the central figure recall those of the pdrSva- 
devatas of the Konarak temple, the identity of the 
image cannot be established in the absence of attri- 
butes. The image may perhaps be identified if the 
front portion below the feet, where the mount of the 
deity is depicted, is exposed. 

The chase of the spouted pedestal, on which it is 
now placed, being larger in length than the width of 
the image, it is doubtful if the pedestal belonged to 
the sculpture. 

Passage.— To come back to the Konarak temple, 
the floor of the passage leading to the sanctum is 
paved with chlorite slabs. The flat ceiling is made 
of long slabs of stones, the latter supported by three 
iron beams. Over the ceiling is a chamber. The 
missing ceiling of the latter rested above corbels, 
which project inwards from the north and south walls. 
In the back wall of this upper chamber are rough 
narrow steps. Evidently, ^ey were intended to 
give access, through an opening made into the ceiling, 
to the chamber over the garbha-muda (bottom ceiling) 
of the sanctum. 

Door-frame. — ^The lavishly-carved chlorite door- 
frame of the passage is similar to the eastern one 
(p. 58) of the porch. The front face of the sill was 
in the form of three semi-circles, the central one, the 


77 



kONARAK 


largest, robbed by cbisellmg The fa9ades of these 
semi-circles were richly carved The face of the extant 
sinister semi-circle has two male figures dancing with 
a dagger in hand between two bands, the latter with 
a central beaded line The sloping portion over the 
upper border is relieved with lotus petals The top 
surface also bore carvings including the outline of a 
conch These carvings are largely defaced by the 
footsteps of the devotees 

In horizontal line with the sill is a set of two 
pancha ratha mouldings, which project forward from 
the base of the jambs Made of chlorite, both the 
mouldings — the lower one m the shape of a noli — 
are treated with luxuriant leaves, that on the basanta, 
the upper moulding, being inside beaded borders 
Both the mouldings are connected by a highly ornate 
c/wityc-window motif carved on the central part of the 
rShS 

Below these mouldmgs, but projecting forward, 
IS a chlorite member which rested on the floor of the 
passage that communicates the door of the sanctum 
with the porch It has at either end a recumbent lion 
and at the centre a paflcha’ratha projection The 
rahd of the latter is relieved with a pot-bellied dwarf 
in the act of supporting the superstructure, while the 
muraihas and AnniArnyhavcfoliated leaves and creep- 
ers respectively Behind the frame was a wooden 
door with two leaves, the position of their posts in- 
dicated by sockets, two each on the floor and the 
ceiling of the passage. 

The colossi 

Each of the three staircases of the porch was 
originally guarded by a pair of colossi— two lions, 
each rampant on a crouching elephant, on the east. 


78 



THE MONUMENTS 


two elephants, richly decorated and fully harnessed, 
on the north and two gorgeously caparisoned war- 
stallions on the south Each of these annuals — ^master- 
pieces of Onssan art — ^was originally mounted on a 
partly carved platform (pi IH B) The animals on 
the north and south sides have been installed on new 
pedestals, some metres further from their onginal 
locations They now face the porch instead of the 
enclosure (p 15) The two compositions of the east 
side are now in front of the parapets of the eastern 
flight of the blioga-mandapa Covered with plaster, 
all these animals were originally coloured m chocolate- 
red, patches of which are still extant at places 

Lions-on-elephants —One of these was in its 
position (pi I) till 1838, when Kittoe sketched it 1 An 
earlier drawing (pi HI B) of this lion-on elephant 
was from the brush of an artist in the employ of C 
Mackenzie* The measurements of the platform (as 
exposed above ground then) which bore this composi- 
tion, as given in the caption of the latter drawing, 
were 3 048 m (long) and 1 828 m (wide), the height 
along with the animals being recorded as 5 791 ra 
The maximum height from the feet of the elephant 
to the head of the lion is 2 565 m In the rolled trunk of 
the prostrate elephant is a tcrrible-lookmg male 

Elephants — Rendered with Iife-hke realism, both 
the elephants are remarkable for the plastic treatment 
of the bulky volume The eastern one (pi XIX), 
2 133 m high, holds aloft in Us curled trunk a demo- 
nish figure, armed with a shield and a small curved 
sword, evidently with the intention of hurling it away 

*Jour Astatic Soc Bengal VH.pt II (1838), pi XXXVIII 
New Senes IV<I9G8),p 303 and pi 


79 



KONARAK 


A similar demonish figure, with rolling eyes, coiled 
beard, moustache and coiled tresses, is seen below the 
body of the western elephant, 2 235 m high 

Horses —Pulsating with the very breath of life, 
both the stallions, richly equipped with trappings, 
bridles and strings, display the consummate work- 
manship and dynamic sweep of an assured hand 
who has succeeded in expressing the exuberant vitality 
of the animals in all its sensitiveness The western 
one (2 045 m hi^ and 2 921m long), witJi a bejewelled 
person (now headless) holding the bndle by its side, is 
better preserved (pi XX) A quiver full of arrows and 
a scabbard for a sword hang from its back Two fierce- 
looking figures armed with a shield and a small curved 
sword are below the horse, one beneath the latter’s 
body and the other nearly crushed under its hoofs 

Aruita^stambha 

In front of the eastern flight of the porch was a tall 
free-standing chloritepillar,d/nq/fl-j/o/»5/;o, with Aruna, 
the charioteer of Surya, at the croivn Of exquisite 
workmanship and elegant proportion, the Arupa- 
stambha was a fitting appendage to the temple It 
(pi XXI) now stands in front of the mam gate of 
the temple of Jagannatha at Pun (p 10) 

The sixteen-sided monolithic shaft of the pillar 
rises from an artistic base in the form of afull-bloNvn 
lotus The latter rests on a pancha ratlia platform 
which consists of three mouldings — khura ^vith a scroll- 
work on the muhanti and lotus petals on the body, 
kani and basanta A frieze of peacocks within beaded 
borders embellishes the central band of the last, over 
which IS an inconspicuous khura relieved with lotus 
petals, the topmostfacet havmga row of petals arranged 
like battlements At the four comers of the platform 


80 



THE MONUMENTS 


is a lion with two hind parts, rampant on an elephant, 
also with two hind parts. Below the platform is 
an upana, pancha-iatha on plan. Its vertical face is 
carved with a row of devotees and elephants, besides 
military procession consisting of i^antry, cavalry, 
elephants and men and animals carrying supplies. 

The crowning piece ofthepillaris Aruna with folded 
hands, his left ^ee in the kneeling posture and right 
bent and raised, seated on the pericarp of a full-blown 
lotus. The latter is perched on a plain square slab, 
this again having below it a second but larger slab. 
Beneath this is an inverted khura-shap&d member, 
relieved with lotus-petals, rising above a set of two 
mouldings. 


The bhoga-mai;t4apa 

In front of the eastern flight of the porch, but be- 
yond the sites of the lions-on-elephants and Aruna- 
slambha, is a pillared hall on a high berm (pi. XXII). 
This detached structure is generally believed to be a 
nata-mandira (festive hall) on account of the carnival 
of dance and music chiselled over the faces of its plat- 
form, plinth, walls, pilasters flanking the doorways 
and the central pillars. In fact, the faces of the struc- 
ture are mellowed with joy and rhythm of life depic- 
ted in its wonderful varieties. But one cannot help 
noticing its resemblance in general layout to the bhoga- 
matjdapa (hall of offering) of the Lingaraja temple of 
Bhubaneswar.^ With the narrow space compart- 
mented into bays by thick pillars of large girths, the 
■ interior is more suitable for a banquet in honour of 
the deity than for a musical soiree or a religious 

^ It is likely that the nafa-mandira connecting the porch and the 
bhoga-matidapa of the Ananta-VSsudcva and Lingaraja temples of 
Bhubaneswar was added even later than the bhoga-ma^^apa. 


81 



kONAftAlC 


audience listening to a teacher Further, the southern 
stair of this structure directly faces the kitchen-entrance 

Upana — It consists of three uncarved mouldings 
— A/iwrj, noh and basanta, the first slightly projecting 
forward beyond the plumb of the other two 

Berm ^Pancha ratha on plan, the berm (pi XXIII) 
has five vertical components The usual pabbaga- 
mouldings (khura, hmibha^ paf a, kam and basanta) do 
not run continuously but arc limited to small sections 
at the comer of the rathas and are nearly lost m the 
abundance of pilasters and khakhara inundis that 
intervene between these sections In the niches of 
the khakhara nnmdis are figures, mostly kanyas and 
very exceptionally erotic couples, while the pilasters, 
generally two each on either side of the khakhara- 
mundis, have each a female figure beneath the roof of 
a yajramundi These damsels are shown in their usual 
postures— with arms raised over the head, adjust- 
ing the scarf, holding the branch of a tree or a flower, 
playing on musical mstruments like small cymbals 
and Mna, caressing a pet bird, fondling a child, wring- 
ing water from the wet hair (the drops falling from it 
being drunk by a goose), carding a chamarOy exhibi- 
ting her beautiful person m various mvitmg flexions, 
engaged in toilet and with folded hands Rarely a 
man with a yoke takes the place of the kanya 
The lower jangha has yajra inundis over both the 
pabhaga mouldings and khakhara immdis of the 
pabhaga and pilasters over the pilasters of the pabhaga 
On the pilasters are figures, generally women and 
rarely men, and grotesque comical figures with an 
expression of good humour These, with rare excep- 
tions, are all dancing, with or without musical mstru 
meats, some even with a sword Among the standing 
figures two (on the northern fla^ of the east face) 


82 



the monuments 


pot-bellied men, looking like pa^das^ appear rather 
humorous. Some of the niches of the vajra-muridis 
near the corners contain several seated dikpalas — 
Yama, Nirriti, Varuna, Vayu and Kubera. The re- 
maining niches have, besides an elephant, figures 
both mundane (some on elephants ana horses) and 
divine, the last including Gaja-Lakshmi and Gariesa. 

In the bandhana are three mouldings—khwrS, noli 
and basanta — the first with a creeper at the muhanti and 
lotus-petals on the body, the second with lotus-pejals 
and a central beaded line and the third with elephants. 

The disposition of the upper jahgha is similar to 
that of the lower. Those vajra-mundis, which are in 
plumb with the ones having dikpalas^ have, however, 
in the niches the female counterparts of these dikpalas 
with identical attributes. Among divine figures in the 
niches of some other vajra^mu^dis are recognizable 
Gapesa and the dikpalas Tsana and Agni. ^ 

In the vara^ida are three mouldings — khura with 
a row of geese at the muharjti, pata wih a creeper and 
basanta relieved with infantry, cavalry, elephants 
with orwithoul Soldiers, palanquin-bearers, provision- 
carriers and assemblage before a king. The recess 
between the mouldings is relieved with a honeycomb 
pattern. Inside the \arandla are provided at intervals 
spouts of drains for the drainage of water, that falls 
on the top of the berm. Some of these spouts are 
utterly vulgar in conception. 

Stairs. — The top of the berm is approached by- 
flights of steps, on the central part of all the four 
sides. The staircases of the east and north sides 
cover portions of the carved fa9ade of the 
platform; evidently, either their parapets were an 
afterthought or the width exceeded the original 
specification. The fa9ade of the parapets of the eastern 


83 



kONAfeAK 


audience listening to a teacher Further, the southern 
stair of this structure directly faces the kitchen entrance 

Upana — It consists of three uncarved mouldings 
^khurd, nob and basanta^ the first slightly projecting 
forward beyond the plumb of the other two 

Berm —Pancha raiha on plan, the berm (pi XXIII) 
has five vertical components The usual pdbhdga- 
mouldings (khiirdy kumbha, patdy kani and basanta) do 
not run continuously but are limited to small sections 
at the comer of the rathas and are nearly lost m the 
abundance of pilasters and khdkhard-mmdis that 
intervene between these sections In the niches of 
the khakhard mundis are figures, mostly kanyds and 
very exceptionally erotic couples, while the pilasters, 
generally two each on either side of the khakhard- 
mtmdiSy have each a female figure beneath the roof of 
a vajra mimdi These damsels are shown m their usual 
postures — with arms raised over the head, adjust- 
ing the scarf, holdmg the branch of a tree or a flower, 
playing^on musical instruments like small cymbals 
and Mnd, caressing a pet bird, fondling a child, wrmg- 
mg water from the wet hair (the drops falling from it 
being drunk by a goose), carrying a chamara, exhibi- 
ting her beautiful person m various inviting flexions, 
engaged in toilet and with folded hands Rarely a 
^ takes the place of the kanyd 
-lTv® lower jangha has \ajra rmin^is over both the 
pdbhdja mouldings and khakhard mimdts of the 
pabhdga and pilasters over the pilasters of the pdbhdga 
On the pilasters are figures, generally women and 
rarely men, and grotesque comical figures with an 
expression of good humour These, with rare excep- 
tions, arc all dancing, with or without musical instru- 
ments, some even With a sword Among the standing 
figures two (on the northern flank of the cast face) 


82 



the MONtJMfiNTS 


pot-belhed men, lookmg like pampas, appear rather 
humorous. Some of the niches of the vajra-mundis 
near the corners contain several seated dikpalas — 
Yama, Nirriti, Varuna, Vayu and Kubera The re- 
mainmg mches have, besides an elephant, figures 
both mundane (some on elephants and horses) and 
divine, the last including Gaja-Lakshmi and Ganesa 

In the bandhana are three mouldings— noli 
and basanta — the first with a creeper at the muhdnti and 
lotus-petals on the body, the second with lotus-pedals 
and a central beaded line and the third with elephants. 

The disposition of the upper jdngha is similar to 
that of the lower Those vajra-mundis, which are in 
plumb with the ones having dikpalasy have, however, 
in the niches the female counterparts of these dikpalas 
with identical attnbutes Among divine figures m the 
niches of some other \ajra*mtmdis are recognizable 
Ganesa and the dikpalas Is^na and Agni 

In the \aranda are three mouldings — Khura with 
a row of geese at the muhaiUt, pata wih a creeper and 
basanta relieved with infantry, cavalry, elephants 
with or without Soldiers, palanquin-bearers, provision- 
carriers and assemblage before a king The recess 
between the mouldmgs is relieved with a honeycomb 
pattern Inside the varanda are provided at intervals 
spouts of drams for the drainage of water, that falls 
on the top of the berm Some of these spouts are 
utterly vulgar m conception 

Stairs — ^The top of the berm is approached by 
flights of steps, on the central part of all the four 
sides The staircases of the east and north sides 
cover portions of the carved fa9ade of the 
platform, evidently, either their parapets were an 
afterthought or the width exceeded the original 
specification The fa9ade of the parapets of the eastern 


83 



KONARAK 


Stair, though designed after that of the berm, was 
left uncarved The rough outlines of the mouldings 
in the bandhana and varanda and the plam pilasters 
of the upper jangha are made m the parapets of the 
northern staircase The individual steps ofthe latter are 
in. the fortnof moon-stones In the southern stairway are 
roughly fashioned bQndhand^ and vfirra«</a-mouldmgs 

The original scheme of the western stair was 
probably like that of the others, but, later on, it gave 
place to a double flight, one facing the south and the 
other north This was, no doubt, dictated by neces- 
sity, as the space between the bhoga-mandapa and porch 
could not happily accommodate the fli^t if it ran 
straight towards the west in view of the provision of 
Aruna-j/fl/wi/ia and the two colossi m front of the 
eastern stair of the porch The altered arrangement 
thus resulted m covering a large part of the sculptured 
fa9ade of the berm The face of the central projec- 
tion of this stair is carved m the likeness of the berm, 
but the carvings are only partially preserved due to 
the loss of the facing stones 

Plinth — Over the berm is the plinth of the bhoga- 
mandapa Its fayade, with multiple projections, has 
three horizontal divisions, ihe lower with a succes- 
sion of khurd, noh and basanta and the upper with 
khnrd, kam and basanta, all decorated m their charac- 
teristic manner The recessed part between these two 
divisions has khakhard mim^is with figures m their 
niches, lions rampant on elephants and oblong niches 
With kanyds or male figures A male musician with 
small cymbals m hands has below his floral foot- 
stand a short inscription 

Bada —The layout of the bada is analogous to 
that of the berm, but the mouldings m the yaranda 
are larger m number, and we have here, in place of the 

§4 



THE MONUMENTS 


\ajra-mimdiSf khakhurd-miindis and pidd-mimdis (one 
each on the kanika and anurathd) respectively in the 
lower and the upper jdnghas The vnr^in^fa-mouldings 
number nme at places, but at others they are only 
SIX from the topmost of which elaborate lotus-drops 
project Except on the northern face, there are wide 
openings between the amiratha and kamka. The 
khdkhara-mundis of the kanika contain the eight dik- 
pdlas in their respective directions The female coun- 
terparts of Indra, Agni, Yama and Nirriti are extant 
above these gods in the niches of the pidd-mundis of 
the upper jduglia 

The floor is reached by spacious openings in the 
centre of the four sides, each opening approached by 
a flight of four steps On either side of these openings 
IS a pilaster with five pdhMga-mouldmgs at the base 
and round shaft carved with vertical bands of creepers, 
having dancers and musicians at the base and kirti- 
mukhas with pendant pearl-stnngs above Over the 
last and crowning a set of three mouldings — noh, 
khurd and basanta-^i% a p/iew-shaped capital with lotus- 
petals Above the capital IS again a set of three mould- 
ings, from the top of which project lotus-drops 

Interior — In the central part of the floor are four 
large pillars, arranged m a square They also have five 
divisions Of the five mouldings of the pdbhdga, 
the lower two are not carved In the bdndfiand are 
three carved mouldings The upper and lower jdnghas 
are divided into facets and recesses The central 
facets of both the jdnghas and also recesses of the 
'ippcr jdngha have musicians, dancers, devotees, 
c/idmara-heaKrs and kanyds The recesses in the 
lower jdngha have lions rampant on elephants 

Roof— The missing roof of the structure was 
possibly of the pidd type The beautifully-carved 


85 



KONARAK 


Stone forming the crowning piece of a ceiling, which 
was found by the side of this structure and which now 
lies in the Museum, presumably belonged to it The 
motif on this stone is very artistically conceived m 
the form of a full-blown lotus (pi XXIV) On the 
projected pericarp presides Surya, with the stalk of 
a lotus in each hand, seated cross-legged on a 
seat drawn by seven horses He is attended by a 
female figure on either side Around the pericarp 
are eight petals, beyond which are spread in a circle 
sixteen petals, each containing a dancer Most of these 
dancers also play on musical instruments Evidently, 
these figures represent the celestial choristers who 
seem to chant the eternal glory of the Sun 

B Temple 2 (MayadevI temple) 

To the west-south-west of Temple 1 is Temple 2, 
consisting of a sanctuary and a porch, the latter front- 
ed by a platform Around it is a narrow apron of 
khondalite Since the reclamation of the temple 
from sand in the first decade of the present century 
(p 20), it has assumed its present name as the tem- 
ple of MayadevI, who is popularly believed to be one 
of the wives of Surya In reality, this temple was meant 
originally for Surya, a presumption substantiated by 
its parS\a’de\atas That this temple with its own 
compound-wall of latente was earlier than Temple 1 
is proved by the southern wall of the present enclosure 
Itself In the western flank of this wall exists an open- 
ing which served as the southern gate of Temple 2 
and was blocked up with the construction of the larger 
enclosure of Temple 1 The front (east) and the 
north walls of the earlier enclosure were dismantled 
when Temple 1 with its enclosure was built The 
south-eastern comer of this earlier enclosure is still 


86 



KONARAK 


respectively with scroll-work and lotus-petals (each 
petal alternating with a pendant), while the basania 
is relieved with a variety of motifs like cavaliers, 
elephant-riders, foot-soldiers, carriers of provisions, 
musicians, dancers, assemblage before a king, a king 
witnessing dance and music, a king on horseback, 
duel, fighting, hunting of animals, confronting and 
catching of elephants and animals carrying supplies. 
The washings from the interior of the porch are car- 
ried through a channel cut partly into the floor and 
the bottom course of the central part of the northern 
wall. At the outer end of the drain is a chlorite gar- 
goyle fixed in the topmost moulding of the pishta and 
supported by a pilaster. The gargoyle is in the form 
of the head of a crocodile with a fish in its mouth. 

77/e porch 

The bS4a of the porch is sapta-ratha on i)lan, if 
we take into accoimt the thin projection flanking the 
inner side of the kanika. It had five vertical divisions, 
of which the lower three arc now extant. 

Pabhaga. — Between the pSbhaga-mouldings of 
the rdha, amirdhd and kanika are inserted three 
khdkhard-mii^dis with two pilasters entwined by a 
ndga or a nwg/in between. The central khdkhard‘mim4l, 
the largest of the three, has a niche with couples, 
kanyds or erotic figures, while the body of the 
outer ones are shafts with facets containing floral 
motifs, foliated leaves and scroll-work within beaded 
borders. The nagn-pilasters, with two lions-on- 
elephants above the lowest two mouldings, are 
by n siyTjzed rhrfjfyjr-windc-w 

Ja/^gha. — On the kanika and the amirdhd of the 
lower jdfigha is a central khdkhard-mundi flanked on 


88 



THE MONUMENTS 


cither side by a graceful female on a lotus and a pilas- 
ter with a carved faceted shaft and a set of three mould- 
ings at its base and at the top. In the niches of the 
khakhara-mm(}is of the kanika are dikpalas, of whom 
Yama with a noose on his buffalo, pot-bellied bearded 
Varuija with a noose and a rosary on a trotting 
makara, Vayu with banners in hands on a trotting 
deer, Kubera seated on a lotus above five gha(as and 
ithyphallic four-armed ISana with a trident on a bull 
are extant. The khakhara-mtmdis of the amirahS 
contained grahas, of which four, including Rahu and 
Ketu, are preserved. On the anuratha is a pilaster- 
like khakliara-munf/i with a kanya within the niche. 
In the recesses between the railms arc lions rampant 
on elephants. The extant portion of the raha above 
the pdW/dga-mouldings on the north and south 
sides has each an elaborately-carved balustraded win- 
dow. The balusters, four in number, have females— 
two as musicians with small cymbals and a vjtid— 
on a foliated lotus under a tree with two mouldings 
crotvned by an ornate diailya-v/'mdow above. The 
faceted frame around the balusters is relieved with 
creepers and beaded borders. The pilaster-like pro- 
jection on either side of the frame has a female on a 
lotus on the central facet and creepers on the flanking 
facets of both the front and side faces. 

In the frontal rdha is provided tlie passage leading 
to the door. The floor of the passage is in the form 
of a large moon-stone. On either side of the en- 
trance to the passage is a pancha-ratha pillar, attached 
to the projection of the raha. The base of these 
pillars has a set of five mouldings— t/iura, kurnbha, 
paia, kani and basanta. A small section of the roun- 
dish shaft with three inconspicuous projections hav- 
ing medallions is now extant. Its body is relieved 
with vertical bands, the latter carved with creepers. 


89 



KONARAK 


scrolls and foliated leaves withm beaded borders The 
extant portion of the outer sides of the rdha have each 
a set of five pabhaga mouldings and a khakhara-mundi 

Bandhana — ^In the handhana are five mouldings— 
kburS, noli, pata, noh and basania, the first, third and 
fifth carved with creepers 

Ii^TERiOR —The inner walls of the porch have at 
intervals paiftdgu-mouldmgs Over each set of the 
latter is a kanyd on a lotus within a richly-carved 
framed niche Over the kanyds, flanking the two 
entrances, and the corbelled recesses' for the windows 
are three 6fl«dAflnd-mouldmgs in the form of kliiird, 
mil and basanta Above these mouldings again is a 
kanyd withm a framed niche, the latter capped by three 
extant mouldmgs— Wiwrj, phmi an&patd Over the 
niche of the kanyd above the pdh/idga-mouldmgs at 
four comers is a faceted projection carved with a 
row of elephants These projections are capped by 
squmches m the form of corbels placed across the angles 
of the square room The corbels (two alone preserved) 
at the corners were evidently mtended for converting 
the square into an octagon to facilitate the spanning of 
the roof The fa 9 ades of these corbies have friezes 
with a creeper or scroll work below The themes of 
the friezes include the march of an army consisting 
of cavalry, elephants and foot-soldiers sometimes 
including men carrying military supplies, battle-scene 
sometimes with the defeated hastily retreating and the 
court of the king in the miiilaiy camp The king is 
seen seated on a footed seat with a bolster behmd him 
amidst his attendants and sometimes with the vanqu- 
ished standing with folded hands in front 

* The Jintel over the northern corbelled niche has a frieze of 
elephants without riders cavaliers and infantry with scroll work 
crowning a beaded line below 


90 



THE MONUMENTS 


Junction between the porch and sanctuary. — 
It has at the base the usual />fl6Aag-a-inouldings. In 
the jangha is a standinjg image of Surya with 
stalks of lotuses in hands depicted inside a khakhara- 
mitndi. The chariot is drawn by horses, the charioteer 
being Ajuna. On either side of the deity is a warrior 
with a shield (?) and a sword (?). At the top comers 
is a flying vidyadhara. 

Tlie scniciuary 

Sapta-ratha on plan, the bada had presumably 
five divisions, of which only the pdbhdga and a small 
part of the lower jafigha are now preserved. 

Pabhaqa. — It has the usual five mouldings — khura, 
kumbba,pafa,kaiu and basanta, the rahds being disting- 
uished by a central khakhara»muridi between two 
pilasters entwined by nagaszndnSgJs. The niches of 
the northern and southern contain each an erotic 

couple, while in the western one is a six-armed ithyphal- 
Hc bejewelled NatarSja, carrying in the two uppermost 
hands a snake and in middle riglit and left respectively 
a kettle-drum and a trident. The remaining two hands 
are in dancing pose, the left waving towards the right 
knee and right in abhaya-mtidra. The two followers of 
the deity are also in a dancing pose, while his bull looks 
up towards him. On the northern side, placed against 
the top moulding of the pishta and the muhanti of Ae 
khura of \ki&pabhaga, is a chlorite gargoyle shaped like 
a makara head for draining water outside from the 
sanctum. In the rolled trunk of the makara are 
perched two fierce-looking figures. 

Kanika and anuraha. of the lower jai^gha. — 
In the kanika and anurdha of the lower jdngha are 
khdkhara-immdis. The niches of the mwjdis of the 


91 



KONARAK 


kanika contained (hkpalas Among the latter, Agni 
alone exists in the south-eastern corner The bearded 
and pot-bellied deity, with a bowl of flames in his left 
hand and a rosary in the right, is seated in lalitasaiia 
on his trotting mount, a goat Of the niches of the 
khakhara-mundis on the amir abas, the eastern one 
of the northern side contains a relief of standing Surya, 
flanked on either side by a warrior with a shield and 
sword The upper portion of the deity above the 
waist is missmg Near the feet of Surya is depicted 
Aruna holding the reins of seven chargers 

Two architectural fragments, which possibly for- 
med part of the mimdts of the jdiigbas of this temple, 
are now housed in the Museum In one a divine 
figure (Kamadeva with Hymgvidyadbaras at comers, 
IS seen standing with flexion In his left hand is a 
bow, the arrow in right hand being broken The other, 
which must have been in one of the pidd-mundis 
of the kamka of the upper jSngha, represents the 
sakti of Varuna, seated m Jabtasana on a composite 
makara, with a noose m her left hand and a rosary 
in the right, the latter m varada-miidra A third slab, 
possibly belonging to one of the mundis of this temple, 
IS now on the pedestal of Temple 3 It depicts the 
upper half of an image of Surya with the stalk of a 
lotus in each hand 

Par^va-devatas — In the niches of the three rdbds 
were the chlorite images o^th.epd^s\a-de\a^ds, of which 
those on the north and south sides are now m situ 

The image in the northern niche represents Bhas- 
kara seated, like the northern pdrS\a-de\atd of Tem- 
ple 1, on the back of a horse The latter, an ill-execu- 
ted one, stands on a pancha-raiba pedestal made of 
three mouldings— Ar/iwra, kam and basanta Clad 
in a short dhoti and a diaphanous coat of mail and 


92 



THE MONUMENTS 


with booted feet supported by a lotus each, Surya 
(^both the forearms with attributes missing) is decked 
in a girdle, an iipania, armlets, a necklace, a necklet, 
padma-hi/j^alas and a richly-bejewelled high mukuta. 
On either side of his legs is a follower, armed with a 
sword and a buckler, standing against a khakhara- 
miin^i. Above both is a female cMniara-bearer, 
standing on a lotus. The back portion of the main 
figure is cut out. Around the head of the deity is a 
trefoil arch with tongues of flames around. At the 
crown of the arch is a kirti-mukha with a pot-bellied 
flying gapa on either side. At the top comers of 
the oblong back slab (1-88 m. high and 91-4 cm. wide) 
is a booted vidySdhara, with a ridyadliarj on the thigh 
and floral offerings in hands, flying through clouds. 

The mutilated image* (head, entire right arm and 
left forearm missing) in the southern niche represents 
SOrya, draped and decorated like the preceding but 
standing in sama-pSda on a pedestal which rests on 
a lotus with stalks underneath. The two warrior- 
companions and the .sinister clidmara-bearei are now 
preserved. 

The image in tlie western niche was most probably 
the one found in the bhoga-map^apa (p. 20), as the 
dimensions of the sculpture, 1-88 m. high and 89 
cm. wide, tally with those of the other two pariva- 
devalas. The composition here, however, is more 
elaborate and the workmanship is fine. The sculp- 
ture is now displayed in the National Museum. 

Except for the forearms, the image (pi. XVII B), 
which is remarkable for its sensitive modelling, is m 
it perttcT sTarc of preservafibn. Ci&d in a sftort a'l'a- 
phanous dhoti, held by a richly-embellished girdle 


* The extant seutpture is 90 cm. aside, the available height being 
1 40 m. 


93 



KONARAK 


With beaded loops and a central pendant issuing from 
a kirti-miikha, long boots or socks and a coat of mail 
on the chest, Surya is lavishly decked m ornate arm- 
lets, an elaborate necklace of six beaded strings with 
a central clasp and oblique pendants, a beaded bara, 
a beaded neck-ornament, an iipavlta of three beaded 
strings with beaded oblique pendants, padma^kimdalas 
and a richly-decorated high crown with a lotus- 
finial With a smiling face and with the stalk of a 
full-blown lotus in each hand, the figure (with back 
portion cut out and roughly fashioned) stands in 
sama-puda on a Uhratha chariot The horses are 
depicted in front of the chariot — three between two 
moulded posts on the rdha and two each on the kamka, 
the latter having at the exterior end a moulded post 
The rein of the horses is held by Aruna (with only 
upper half of the body) who, with a lash m his raised 
right hand, is seated between the two feet of Surya 
Near the right leg of the deity is the bearded Dandl, 
his left palm resting on a staff The corresponding 
figure near the left leg represents the bearded and pot- 
bellied Pingala with an ink-pot in his left hand and a 
pen (?) in the right Beyond Dandi and Pingala is 
a nchly-embellished standing warrior with a sword m 
his right hand and a buckler m the left, carved against 
a khdkhara-mundi Over each khakhara-mimdi is a 
female with the stalk of a lotus in hand Around the 
head of Surya is a trefoil arch with tongues of flames 
around and a kirti-mukha at the crown This arch 
springs from two pedestals, the fa9ade of which is 
carved with scroll-work On the left pedestal is a 
booted cavalier with a sword in his right hand and 
on the right a man playing on a vmd Near the top 
comers is a vidyadbara flying through clouds 

Door-frame —W hile the sill is of chlorite, the 
?4 



THE MONUMENTS 


jambs are made of khondalitc The facade of the 
former is m the form of a moon-stone Boldly relie- 
ved with lotus-petals and foliated pattern within a 
beaded border, it has a conch at each end The flank- 
ing portions, in continuation of the moon-stone but 
below the jambs, arc also of chlorite Their fa 9 ade, 
tn-ratlm on plan, is relieved into two moudings— «o// 
with lotus-petals and pafa with foliated pattern 
Each jamb is divided into three gradually projecting 
facets At the base of the innermost facet, which 
js the most recessed, is a yajra-wwidf with Gangs 
(on the dexter jamb) and Yamuna (on the sinister), 
standing with a ghata on their respective mounts— 
makara and tortoise Tlie base of the middle facet of 
both the jambs has a khakhara-mundi with an amorous 
couple preserved on the sinister, while that of the 
outermost facets is relieved with a pida-mun(jli Both 
the ptda-muudts contain a four-armed figure, the sinister 
pot-bellied and tcrriblc-lookmg with a snake for tlie 
sacred thread {xtpa\Xta) The dexter figure carries a 
broken object (staff or trident) in its lower left hand 
and m upper left and right hands a kettle-drum (?) 
and rosary respectively, the lower right being m 
\arada mudra The remaining portions of the jambs 
are also carved, of which the outermost has a double 
coil of two snakes and the middle daUmCmkudt (p 59) 

The moon-stone is fronted by another plain khon- 
dalite moon-stone, serving as a step from the passage 
between the porch and the door 

Interior —The three walls of the sanctum have 
each a central recess The khondalitc relief of Surya, 
which is now fixed m a roughly-made low platform, 
IS an architectural piece Evidently, it was inside the 
niche of one of the mimdis of the jdngha of this temple 


95 



KONARAK 


Architraves.— Near the steps leading to the 
platform lie two fragments of two khondalite archi- 
traves. The larger piece preserves four _ grahas — 
§ukra and Sani, both with a ghata (broken) in the left 
hand and rosary in the right, seated cross-legged on 
a lotus, Rahu (upper half only depicted) with a cres- 
cent in the left hand and a disc (?) in the right and the 
snake-tailed Ketu with both hands raised. Each of 
these grahas is shown within a pida-mundi, the latter’s 
roof flanked by a lotus-stalk on either side. On the 
smaller piece occur only Sam with a gha^a in his 
left hand and a rosary in the right and Rahu with a 
crescent in his left hand and a disc in the right. These 
pieces apparently formed part of the two architraves 
which originally rested over the door-frames of the 
porch and the sanctuary. 

The dhvaja-stambha 

In front of the platform, a few metres away, is a 
small laterite block of masonry, evidently the core of 
the platform which supported the base of the dhvaja- 
stambha. 


C. Temple 3 (Vaishisjava temple) 

To the south-west of Temple 2 is a small temple, 
Temple 3, exposed in 1956. Facing east, the temple, 
which stands to a maximum height of 2T3 m., consists 
of a sanctuary and a porch, both pahcha-ratha on plan. 
Made of large bricks, it was covered with a plaster of 
lime and sand. The superstructure of both the compo- 
nents is now missing. The discovery of this temple, 
which is Vaishnava in religious afflUatioti, proves that 
deities other than Siirya were also honoured within 
the cnclosurc'of this Sun temple. The existence of 


96 



THE MONtJMENtS 


the temple coupled with three reliefs (p 46) depicting 
the worship of Mahishasuramardini, Jagannatha 
and //Kgfl proves that there was no religious exclusive- 
ness in this centre 


The porch 

Exterior— Of the five divisions of the bada,X)it 
pabhaga is composed of XbitQmovi\dmg&-khurd,kiimbha 
and basanta, the taha portion of the north and 
south faces being further distinguished by the addition 
of a immature representation of a deul at the central 
part The anuratha and the kaitika have a single 
mouldmg for the bandhand^ kbakhara mundis on the 
lower jdnghai pidd-mimdis on the upper jdngha and 
four mouldmgs— Wii/ra, phem, noli and po/u— m 
Xhe varanda In the lower portion of the la/io, above 
pabhaga, of both the north and south sides is a window 
with three sandstone balusters The rdhd of the east 
side IS more projected than tlic others, as m it is 
provided the stone door-frame, of which the lower 
portions of the jambs and the sill, in the form of a plain 
moon-stone, alone are m situ Two thin strips of the 
talia, each edging the outer end of the jambs, project 
forward, evidently they sustained the architrave project- 
ing from the lintel Each of the two jambs has an 
oblong niche below and three facets (in three different 
planes) above Inside each niche is a fierce-lookmg 
door-keeper, with coiled hair rising upwards like 
flames, holding a staff in one hand, the other hand 
being in abhaya-mudra 

Interior — The ceiling of the porch is spanned by 
corbels, of which the lowest two are now extant The 
north and south walls have each a corbelled niche 
inside, in the rear end of which is the balustraded 
window noted above 


97 



KONARAK 


The sanctuary 

Bada —As in the porch, the ba^a of the sanctuary 
has fivefold vertical divisions, of which the pabhaga, 
lower bandhana with khurd and basanta mould- 

ings and upper jdngha arc preserved In the pabhaga 
are four mouldings— Ar/rwra capped by a tiny khurd, 
kumbha, paid and basanta The rdhd of the pabhaga 
is distinguished by the insertion of a projected rekha- 
mmiature between the usual pdbhaga-movd&ings 
Through the re/c/ja-mimalurc of the north side runs a 
channel for draming water out of the sanctum Both the 
jdnghas are plain, the three rdhds having, however, 
an oblong niche each for a ata The faceted 

jambs of these niches are of bricks, but the Imtels are 
of khondalite Over the architrave above the frames 
of these niches is a projected sloping chhajjd 

Parsva-devatas —Two oiX\i'ipari\a-de\atd5, made 
of chlorite, were in situ when the temple was unearthed 
They are now in the Museum The image (66 cm 
high, 33 cm wide and 15 cm thick), which was 
m the southern niche, represents the four-armed form 
of the boar-mcamation (Varuha) of Vishnu Clad in a 
dhoti and richly bejewelled, Varaha stands on a 
double-petalled lotus, his slightly bent left foot resting 
on the tail of a seated nagi Of the hands, the lower 
left holds a conch and upper right a wheel, while the 
lower right catches hold of the standing Bhumi-devJ, 
the latter again depicted as seated with folded hands 
on the god’s upper left arm 

The corresponding image (66 cm high, 31 cm to 
35 5 cm wide and 14 5 cm thick) in tlie northern niche 
depicts the four-armed Trivikrama carrying in his 
lower left hand a conch, upper left a wheel, upper 
right a mace and lower right a full-blown lotus The 


98 



THE MONUMENTS 


left foot of the deity, lifted to the level of his forehead, 
supports a lotus on which is perched the four-armed 
and bearded Brahma Near his right leg is represented 
the gift of Ball to Vamana, the latter holdmg an 
umbrella A third figure, evidently §ukra, is m the 
attitude of warning Bah against the fatal gift 

The western niche is empty Evidently, it contamed 
Narasimha, the third usually associated 

with a Vaishnava sanctuary in Orissa In the Museum 
there is the lower part of a chlorite image (33 cm 
wide and 15 cm thick, the extant height being 40 5 
cm ) of Narasimha found during an earlier sand- 
clearance Its width and style of workmanship leaves 
no room for doubt that the sculpture originally formed 
the western pars\a devata of this very temple In the 
extant portion of the sculpture, Narasimha, flanked on 
either side by a female standing on a lotus and holding 
the stalk of a bud, is seen piercing the belly of Hiranya- 
kasipu, the latter lying on his back on the left thi^ of 
the deity 

Door-frame —The khondalite door frame of the 
sanctum is intact On its plastered surface are traces 
of chocolate-red paint The sill simulates a moon- 
stone At the bases of the southern and northern 
jambs are respectively Ganga standing with flexions on 
a inakara and Yamuna on a tortoise Draped m a 
dhoti and a scarf and bejewelled in anklets, a girdle, 
valayasy armlets, haras, ear-studs and a high crown, 
Ganga, within a trefoil arch, carries in her left hand a 
ghata, the right palm resting against the right thigh 
T/ie attribute rn fherrg&f hand of Yamuna, wnA orna- 
ments similar to Ganga, is damaged The remammg 
portion of the jambs are divided into three facets 

The lintel with three facets has at the centre an 
inset The latter contams within an arched mche 


99 



KONARaK 


Lakshml, seated in Jahtasana with the stalk of a lotus 
m her left hand and \ara m the right Two elephants, 
perched on lotuses, are m the attitude of pouring water 
over the goddess The lintel was originally supported 
by an iron beam, the chase for which exists in the 
bottom face of the lintel The wooden door behind 
the stone frame had two leaves, as indicated by two 
sockets made in the stone ceiling of the passage imme- 
diately edging the stone frame 

Interior —The three walls of the sanctuary have 
each a central recess Against the back wall, 
extending from the south wall to the north, is 
a brick pedestal, tn-ratha on plan, its facade relieved 
with two mouldmgs with a recess in between It is 
covered with thick plaster The long pedestal, which 
most probably contained more than one image, was 
found empty Presumably, one of these images was 
the one representing Vishnu, found in 1906*07 during 
clearance of debris around the sanctuary of Temple 1 
The figure of Vishnu, with the beautiful expression of 
the face lit with a faint smile and excellent modelling, 
IS an exquisite piece of the Onssan art Lavishly 
decorated, the deity stands in saina-pdda on a double- 
petalled lotus His upper left and right hands carry 
respectively a conch and a wheel, while the lower right, 
with a tiny lotus-mark on the palm, exhibits \arada- 
mudrd The remainmg attribute, evidently a mace, along 
with the forearm is broken Thus, the figure conforms to 
the Janardana form of Vishpu as enjoined in the 
Agm-Piiram and the Chatunarga-chintSmam and to 
Vasudeva according to the Padnia-Purdna The image 
(96 5 cm high and 49 4 cm wide) is now in the 
National Museum, New Delhi 

The oilier image was most probably of Balarama 
A chlorite sculpture (95 cm high and 48 cm wide) 


100 



THE MONUMENTS 


of the two armed form of this deity, found in 1906 07 
and stylistically bearing a close affinity with Varaha 
and Tnvikrama, is now m the Museum The attributes 
in both the hands along with the forearms of the 
deity, who has a seven hooded canopy behind his 
head, are missing 

The probable grouping of Vasudeva and Balarama 
in this temple may lead to the conjecture that, to com 
plete the group, there was an image of Ekanamsa 
Subhadra as well, as m the Jagannatha temple at Pun, 
the Ananta-Vasudeva temple at Bhubaneswar and the 
Anantesvara temple in the Lingaraja compound at the 
latter place But no such image has yet been recovered 

The dhvaja stambha 

In front of the door of the porch is the fragment 
of a round column on a square base It has a central 
socket which held the upper portion When intact, 
It was, no doubt, a dh\aja stambha, the crowning piece 
evidently representing Garuda There is a kneeling 
figure of chlorite (30 5 cm wide, the extant hei^t m- 
cludmg the uncarved pedestal being 43 cm) in the 
Museum As the portion above the neck of the figure 
is missing, It is not known if it represents Aimna 
or Garuda In case it is Garuda, it might have crowned 
the column in front of this Vaishnava temple 

D Subsidiary STRUCTURES 

There are several subsidiary structures, all reduced 
nearly to their plmths, within the enclosure 

The kitchen 

To the south of the i/ioga is a laterUft 
structure which served as a kitchen for 


101 



KONARAK 


of the bhoga Its entrance, flanked on either side by 
an oblong platform of latente, directly faces the 
southern staircase of the bhoga-mandapa Three sides 
of these platforms have a khura at the base and an 
inverted khurd at the top, the space between these 
mouldings being recessed The bottom portion of the 
sinister jamb of the doordrame is still in situ 

With a central oblong courtyard, the structure is 
roughly of the chatuh-sdla type, the east and west 
wings, however, being much narrower than the other 
two flanks The south and the north wings have 
three rows of pillars and the west a single row near 
the inner edge, the eastern wing having none at present 
The pillars are of two types The majority of them are 
of latente and have a square base and an octagonal shaft 
with a central moulding The rest are thinner and are 
made of khondalite Most probably these belonged 
to an older structure The sides of the wings facing 
the courtyard evidently had no walls 

In the southern wing there is an oblong platform of 
khondalite slabs with a raised nm and two channels 
One of the latter is in plumb with the head of a dram 
which led washings outside beyond the east wing of 
the kitchen The platform evidently served as the place 
where the cooks used to strain off the gruel from 
nee after cooking The portable monolithic cistern, 
which now lies by its side, was found in the eastern 
flank of the northern wing Against the latter’s north 
wall, though outside near the eastern platform, was 
found a second, but larger, cistern which has been 
removed to the platform of Well 2 (p 105) These 
cisterns were utilized for storage of water In the 
western wing there is a roughly-made pavement of 
khondalite slabs Many of the latter have a depression 
due to the pounding of spices Roughly in the centre 
of this pavement is a mortar with a deep cavity for 


102 



THN MOVm!ENTS 


pounding grams and husking rice A fragment 
of a khondalite triple oven, which ^\as found some 
metres to the west of the kitchen, has now been kept 
m the southern wing, near the south west comer 

mii I 

The well pertaining to'lhe kitchen is in front of the 
eastern flank of the north side of the latter Its mouth 
IS faced internally with a course of khondalite slabs, 
the portion below it being veneered with large bricks 
Against its eastern face are fixed at inter\ als stone foot- 
rests for getting down Made of khondalite, the low 
parapet above the mouth of the well is moulded in the 
form of a khurd On this parapet, at several spots, 
there are round depressions caused by the placing of 
water-pots The quadrangle around the well is paved 
with khondalite slabs Around the quadrangle was a 
brick wall, pierced with an entrance on the west side 
The entrance is guarded by two pilasters, relieved with 
mouldings During clearance of the well was 
encountered a small chlorite image of the four armed 
standing Ganesa, now displayed m the Museum 

Structure 1 

Immediately to the north of the well is the oblong 
plinth of a SIX pillared mandapa The pillars, m two 
rows, are of khondalite, while m the walls of the plinth 
are utilized not only khondalite and laterite slabs but 
also bricks The topmost course of the plinth is 
moulded into an inverted khurd 

Structure 2 

To the west of Well 1, near the north western comer 
of the kitchen, is an oblong structure of laterite on a 


103 



KONARAK 


platform, the latter being built mostly of laterite and 
partly of kliondalite The platform, which has a 
khurd at the base and an inverted khwd at the top, has 
on the north side a central projection, which is approa- 
ched by a flight of steps On either side of the latter, 
but abutting against the projection, is a pilaster The 
front face of the platform along with the projection has 
an additional mverted khtnd at the top The entire 
structure was originally plastered 

Structure 3 

To the north of Structure 2 is a small mandapa, 
made partly of khondalite and partly of laterite Its 
missing roof rested on four pillars, the stumps of which 
are now m situ The plinth, pancba-ratha on plan, has 
a mouldmg at the base and inverted khurS at the top 
On the floor is fixed a large squarish slab of khondalite 
It has a round socket at each of the four comers 
These sockets were meant for posts which evidently 
supported a canopy for some ceremonies Two semi- 
circular steps, placed against the central part of the 
north wall, give access to the floor of the mandapa 

Structure 4 

About 27 m to the north of Structure 3 is the rumed 
pancha-ratha plinth of a small structure of laterite It 
has a set of three mouldings at the base and an mverted 
khurd for the top course Its top is approached by a 
flight of steps fixed against its south wall 

Structure 3 

To the north-north-east of the last is the plinth of a 
small khondalite structure, pancha-ratha on plan. It 


104 



Tin: UONUMCVTS 


has a khura at the base and a noU at the middle height 
A large flight of steps, built agiinst its north u-all, 
gis-cs access to the floor 

Structure 6 

Immcdiatel) to its north is the oblong plinth of a 
fairlj large mourfopir Made orkhondalite, the plinth, 
paiicha ratha outside, has a set of three mouldings at 
the base, a no/i in the middle and a set offour mouldings 
at tlie top The roof of the mandapa \v-.is supported 
b> pillars, sockets for which exist on the paseef floor 
TTic latter is approached from the south side bj .1 
staircase, the moulded parapet of which has in front a 
pilaster w ith a set of three mouldings below and nbose 
TTie structure probably sened as a resting place for 
pilgrims and desolees 


WcU 2 

To the west of Structure 6 and right m front of the 
northern staircase of tlie porch of Temple I is the 
second well, its inner facing and the parapet made of 
laterite masonry Stone foot-rests, cacit a single 
block, fixed in its inner avail leads to the bottom of the 
well Around the well is a loiv platform of laterite, 
approaehed by a flight of three steps, also of laterite 
The top course of the platform, which was coated with 
plaster of shell-lime and sand, is moulded into a 
khura The well was probably intended for the visitors 
to the temple 


Structure 7 

Immediately to the west and south-west of Well 2 
IS the plinth of a slightly oblong structure The paved 


105 



KONARAK 


passage leading to the east edge of its floor is flai 
by two pylons, made of laterite. From the cei 
part of the paved floor runs a channel, which dra 
water outside through an opening in the nort 
wall of the structure. 


E. The enclosure 

The temples, structures and wells described al 
are surrounded by a high compounJ-wall. The sec 
of the wall, as available now, isT-shaped, the top co 
slightly projecting beyond the rest of the’ wall, 
finds of some stone battlements by the side of 
debris of the wall suggest that the enclosure had, z 
the Jagannatha temple of Puri, a battlemented 
From the reports of the antiquarians of the ninetei 
century it appears that many of these battlements t 
utilized in the additions to the compound-wall of 
Jagannatha temple. The enclosure was made me 
of khondalite and partly of laterite and bricks,* 
last limited to a length of 33*53 m. in the eastern f! 
of the south wall. The use of laterite is also Hmi 
the regular masonry of this stone in portions of 
west and south walls being of the earlier date (p. i 

Gateways 

The enclosure is pierced with two small gatewa 
one facing the east staircase of the bhoga-maitdapa £ 
the other the south staircase of the porch of Temph 
The former, the main entrance, which is mostly 
laterite and partly of khondalite, presumably hac 
pida roof, the ceiling being spanned by corbels. Divic 

* The brickwork, which was reduced to the last stage 
decay, has been replaced by stonework during repair. 


106 



THE MONUMENTS 


into rathas^ its exterior body has five horizontal 
divisions with mouldings in the /iSW/dgnand \aron^a 
and a plain broad band in llte bandhana Tlicrc are 
two sockets in the walls flanking the jambs for holding 
the ends of a bar which closed the wooden door 
Against the inner face of the north and south walls is 
a bench with a moulded facade The structure was 
coated with plaster In front of each of the two 
flanks of the front wall of the gateway is an oblong 
platform, which contains an extremely crude hon- 
on-elephant, made of several slabs, including a carved 
piece Finished with a plaster of lime and sand, these 
animals were coloured m chocolate-red 

The south gateway of Khondalilc, wiUi five divi- 
sions on Its body, had a corbelled ceiling and possibly 
a pida roof This, too, was plastered On either side 
of this gate is a flight of steps made against the com- 
pound wall, to give access to the latter's spacious top 
Compared to the temple, these gateways look rather 
insignificant Evidently, they, along with tlic com- 
pound-wall, were built at a time when the resources 
had run down 



GLOSSARY OF TERMS 


abhaya mudra, hand pose, mdicatne of the gesture of protection 
The hand showing this mudra is raised with its palm ounvard 
and fingers all stretched 

ahsahanya, 'indolent damsel’, female figures in various poses, 
usuallyonthewallsofatemplc,alsocalledniyiAfl Cf kanyd 
amid, gadrooned or fluted oblate spheroid resembling an dmalaka 
(Emblic Afyrobalan) fruit, which, resting on the bcki, forms an 
important component of the crowning elements of a rekha or 
a pi^d temple, b/nlml-amfa, similar member, demarcating one 
set of mouldings forming a bhSmi (storeyed division of the 
kamka paga of the govdi of a rekha temple) from another 
See figs 1 and 2, pp 26 and 27 
amid beku see beki See fig 2, p 27 

dngula, ‘finger’, width of a finger m the measurement of a temple 
afijalt mudrd, hand pose, indicalwe of reverence In this nwdrd 
both the forearms rest against the chest and the slightly hollowed 
palms, with fingers erect or slightly bent, touch each other 
anuralid, projection next to the roAd (central projection) m sop/n- 
ratha (see ratha) and na\a ratha temples 
anuraiha, projection next to (he kamka paga m paheha ratha 
(see ratha% sapta ratha und na\a ratha temples See fig I, p 26 
dyudha, weapon, implement, attnbute in the hands of a deity 
bada, ‘enclosure’, ‘wall’, vertical portion of a temple above 
pishfa (sec p«/i/a) and below spire or roof See figs 1 and 2, 
pp 26 and 27 

bada deal, ‘big temple’, meaning the sanctuary 
bdndhand, ‘bond’, moulding (single or multiple) between tv, o janghas 
of a temple See figs 1 and 2, pp 26 and 27 
basanta, name of the topmost moulding of pabhaga, bdndhana 
and %aranda 

beki (bekd), ‘neck’, cylindrical member immediately above gavd^ 
and below amid of a rekha temple and above gatyd^ mtd below 
ghattfa of a pida temple, amla beki, beki below amla and 
above ghattfa m a pidd temple See figs I and 2, pp 26 and 27 


108 



GLOSSARY OF TERMS 


bhadra deui, ‘auspicious temple*, it refers to the porch m front of 
a sanctuary 

bfioga man^spa, ‘hall of offering* 

bhumi, storey, stage, storeyed division of the kanika paga of the 
gandi of a reUia temple See fig J, p 26 
bhunji aitda, see amh See fig I, p 26 

cban)a window moUf, ornamenta] moUF resembling the front 
window of an apsidal chauya hall of the early period 
chamora, fly whisk, fan made of the tail hair of a yak 
chhajja, projecting member, usually over doors, windows and niches, 
serving the purpose of caves 

dadmdnkudi, meandering creeper with frolicking boys on its bran 
ches used as a decorative motif (also known as gelabai and 
manushya kautuki) 

deul, general name for a temple as a whole When used smgly, it 
refers to the sanctuary, as distinguished from the porch or 
festive hall 
dluaja, flag, fmial 

dhiaja stamb/ta, flagstaff, column with the mount or ensrgn of a 
deity as the crowning piece 

dtlpalas, guardians of eight (four cardinal and four intermediate) 
quarters They arc Indra (east), Agni (south east), Yama 
(south), Nirjiti (south west), Varuna (west), Vayu (north west), 
Kubera (north) and liana (north east) 
d\arapala, door keeper, guard 

gandi, ‘trunk’, curvilinear spire or pyramidal roof above the bada 
and below the mastaka of a temple Sec figs 1 and 2, pp 26 
and 27 

garbha muda, lowest ceiling of a sanctuary 
gelabai, see dahmankudi 

gkanfa, bell, bell shaped member m the finial of a pida temple It 
IS also called sri (sin) See fig 2, p 27 
ghafa, water pot 

grahas planetary deities They are Ravi (Sun), Soma (Moon) 
Mangala (Mars), Budha (Mercury), Bfihaspati (Jupiter), Sukra 
(Venus), Sam (Saturn), Rahu (ascending node) and Kctu (des 
cendmg node) Often they arc represented in a group on the 
architrave above the Imtcl of a doorway 


109 



GLOSSARY OF TERMS 


ntukha'Sa'a, Iiall in front of a sanctuary, jagamohana. 

nnmdi, miniature temple, carved on walls as a decorative motif. 



KONARAK 


jagamohana, ‘fascinator of the universe’, hall m front of a sanctuary, 
usually a pt<^a temple 

jangha, ‘shm’, vertical portion of the bada between projecting sets 
of mouldings, tala jangha, the lower one between paMoga and 
bdndhand mouldings tipar jangha, the upper one between 
bandhand and \aranda mouldings See figs 1 and 2, pp 26 
and 27 

kalah, water-pot, pitcher-shaped member in the finial of a temple 
See figs 1 and 2, pp 26 and 27 
kani, moulding of angular profile 

kamka,kanika-paga, comer segment of a temple Sec fig 1, p 26 
kanthi (kdnp), recess between pidds, mouldings or pofalas 
kanyd, ‘damsel’, female figures in various poses Cf alasa-kanyd 
khSkhard imndt, miniature representation of a khdkhara temple 
as an ornamental motif See fig 3, p 32 
khapuri, ‘skull’, flattish bell shaped member above the amla in the 
finial of a rckha or ptdd temple See figs 1 and 2, pp 26 and 27. 
khat\dt)ga, a kind of club made of a long bone tipped with a human 
skull 

khiird moulding with a somewhat S shaped profile and a projected 
fillet at the base 

Awnitrn.serai-divine being with a body, half human and half animal 
kirti mukha, decorative motif showing the gnnning face of a lion, 
from the mouth of which often issue beaded tassels 
kumbha, water-pot, moulding resembling the profile of a water pot 
laUldsana, sitting posture, in which one leg, bent, rests flat on the 
seat, while the other is pendant 
maAora, a fabulous creature with the head of a crocodile and the 
body of either a fish or beast 
man^pa, hall, porch 
mamishja kaiiinki, see ^afimdnkitdi 

mastaka, ‘held’, crowning elements above thegnp(/i of a temple 
See figs I and 2, pp 26 and 27. 
inuda, ceiling 
mudrd, pose of the hand 

imihanli, projected fillet at the base of khnrd, pidd, khapuri or 
khakliard 


no 



GLOSSARY OF TERMS 


mukha sa'a liall in front of a sanctuary, jagamohana 
tnun^i, miniature temple, carved on walls as a decorative motif 
ndga, serpent, fabulous creature with a human bust, serpent tail 
and hood over the head Its female counterpart is knoivn as 
nagi 

nafa-ntandirot festive hall 

na\a grahas, nine planetary deities For their names, see graha 
moulding roughly with a semicircular profile, torus 
pabhaga, division corresponding to foot, a set of mouldings consti- 
tuting the lowest part of the of a temple See figs 1 and 
2, pp 26 and 27 

padma dk\aja, finial of a temple in the form of a lotus crowning a 
staff 
segmsDt 

paiicha ralha, see ratha 

parsva dexata, accessory deities, occupying the niches of the central 
projections of a sanctuary They vary according to the reli- 
gious association of the temple A Vaishnava temple generally 
contains Narasimha, Tnvikrama and VarSha, three of the 
incarnations of Vishnu A Saura temple has three forms of 
Surya 

paid, fillet like moulding sometimes with an inconspicuous khurS 
at the base and top 

phem, moulding simulating the hood of a serpent 
pida, ^flattish wooden seal’, projecting moulding constituting the 
pyramidal roof of a pidd temple See fig 2, p 27 
pi<^a deed, temple of which the pyramidal roof is made o( pii^ds 
This form of structure is usually limited to the jagamohana, 
bhoga mandapa and nafa mandira in On^sa See fig 2, p 27 
pida niunrff, miniature representation of a pida temple as an orna- 
mental motif See fig 3, p 32 
pish(a, stylobate, platform 
pofala, group of pidas 

raha, middle segment (of a temple) having the greatest projection 
See fig l,p 26 

ratha, segment produced on the outer face of a temple which has 
been subjected to projection In a tn ratha temple a central 


111 



KONARAK 


exterior projection {ralia) dujdcs tlic wall into three rathas, 
the two on the outer sides being on the same plane and Xnown 
as kamka Temples with five, seven and nine such ralhas, the 
result of the increase in projections on each face, are respectively 
l^nown as pancha ratha, sapta ratha and nma-ratlia 
rekha deui, order of temple characterized by a curvilinear to\ver 
presents the appearance of a continuous line See fig 

samapada, standing posture, in which legs arc firm and erect 
without any bend 
sapta ratha, see ratha 

simhdsana, seat with legs carved in the sliape of lions 
Z- f member in the spire of a khdkhard temple 

jri (j^ri).^beU shaped member over the ieA:/ of a p/ffa r/e»/ Sec 

stoinbha, column 

Inanglc or quadrant 

of a circle at the edge of pi^las or mouldings 

fr™ ‘'VO P'llora 

upana, low plmth of a structure 

vajra-mmdi, variant of Khdkhard wah a highly intricate 

c/ia«/>o window motifon (he facade of the roof See fic 3 d 32 

ger° alf stretched " 0'»‘ fi"’ 

moulding (single or multiple). 

elenfnnt nr motif of a virala rampant on an 

Tte representation very popular in Orissa 

imu vS Si ° fantastic It is hnown as 

is provided with the head of an elephant, 
like a demon ’ ** ^ often lookmg 

}aksha, a class of dcmi gods 


112 



SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY 

A Stirling, ‘An Account, Geographical, Statistical and His- 
torical of Orissa Proper, or Cuttack’, AsmticK Researches, XV 
(Serampore, 1825), pp 326 33 

J Fergusson, Picturesque Jllastrations of Ancient Architecture 
j/i Hindoslan (London, 1848), pp 27 f and pi ni 

‘Mr Kittoe s Journal of his Tour m the Province of Onssa’, 
Jour AsiaticSoc FengG/,VII, pt JI (1838) pp681f and pi XXXVIII, 
fig 2 

Rajendralala Mitra, Antiquities of Onssa, H (Calcutta, 1880), 
pp 145 57 

Monmohan Chakravarti, ‘Certain Unpublished Drawings of 
Antiquities m Onssa and Northern Circars’, Jour Asiatic Soc 
Bengal, New Senes, IV (1908), pp 299 ff 

Bishan Swarup, Konarka (1910) 

Mano Mohan Ganguly. Onssa and her Remains — Ancient and 
Mediaeval (Calcutta, 1912), pp 437 83 

Marg, XII, no 1 (1958) 

Nirma'l Kumar Basu, Kanaraker Vnarana (m Bengali), 2nd 
ed (Calcutta 1961) 


11